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We all know how immensely popular Instagram has been, considering Facebook purchased them for $1 billion, but how have they gotten this popular? Speed. When sharing photos, you don't want to snap the shot, wait a few seconds for the app to finalise the shot, wait a few seconds, begin to upload and wait more seconds for it to upload, right?
Well, how do they do it? The image below explains it, really:
As you can see, as soon as you have taken the image, selected the filter and tapped the green tick, Instagram begins its upload regardless of whether you upload the picture or not. Instagram makes "two requests, two round-trips", where the data is sent as soon as part of it is ready to go, after which, it matches the rest of the data up. So what you think is a static screen with your picture, is actually magic behind-the-scenes, where it uploads your picture and appears to be super fast when it's finished.
This is most likely one of the key reasons Facebook acquired them for so much money, because they are great at what they do. As well as being a kick-ass photo-sharing app.
Spotify users are officially getting a native iPad app after complaining for a long time. The app is available free in the App Store, but of course still requires the $9.99/month subscription that is needed for the iPhone and Android apps. That said, you can get a 48-hour free trial and a 30 day trial, if you haven't had the 30 day trial yet.
The app, as would be expected, supports the iPad's new Retina display and makes use of the extra screen real estate available on the device. High resolution cover art images along with menus and playlists are displayed in a layered manner. The app also comes with gapless playback and crossfade.
The app also supports Apple's AirPlay technology for wireless streaming. Check out the promo video above for a glimpse of the features of the app. There has been no word from the company who refused to comment on whether there would be an Android tablet version. I would imagine that they will release one as it would help increase their market share.
In a move that is sure to upset people who purchased Rock Band on iOS, EA has started an in-app announcement alerting players that "on May 31, Rock Band will no longer be playable on your device. Thanks for rocking out with us!" It's not clear whether just the multiplayer is being shut down or if they are going to disable the app.
Even better is the fact that the app is still available for purchase without any sort of warning about the May 31 date. Makers of apps are able to remove their apps at anytime from the app store, but the software often remains playable on devices which have it installed. If EA fully disables the software come May 31, there could be bad publicity.
EA has shut down games before. Just last month they announced the shutdown of nearly a dozen titles. "As games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles to a level -- fewer than 1 percent of all peak online players across all EA titles -- where it's no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running," the company said at the time.
It's likely that the game will still be playable locally and will just lack online support. In fact, it's on the list of games that will be losing online support. However, this latest message seems to indicate that the game will be fully shut down come the May 31 date.
Our Mobile App of the Day is Ski Safari for iOS.
#1 Paid App in Australia
Game of the Week in US, Canada, Australia, Mexico and New Zealand
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ "Great! - Love everything about this game. The graphics are excellent, the controls easy to use, and best of all, it's endlessly fun!"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ "How can you go wrong ! - This game is smooth as a sheet of ice !! Love it"
Welcome to Ski Safari!
Ski Safari is where Animals, Avalanches and Action come together to create a new casual gameplay experience.
Our deep sleeping hero has to stay ahead of a relentless avalanche that threatens the local mountainsides. Sven, as we like to call him, can use animals to aid his escape from an icey end. Each of the hillside animals have different attributes to make a speedier escape. Penguins glide further, Yetis are tougher, Eagles soar to great heights, each of these can provide useful advantage for Sven. Sometimes on the slopes Sven can find fast Snowmobiles which can ferry multiple animals a maintain a very high top speed.
Angry Birds Space, a follow-up to the Angry Birds series of games, has been immensely popular since its release back on March 22. We reported how it rocketed past 10 million downloads in 3 days, and later 20 million downloads in 7 days. Now the company has tweeted that they have flown past 50 million downloads in just 35 days.
If my math is correct, and it usually is, the pace of downloads is slowing down, but 50 million in 35 days isn't something to scoff about. The company behind Angry Birds believes that the speed of downloads makes this game the fastest growing mobile game available today. Told you it isn't something to scoff about.
"50 Million downloads in 35 days! Proud to have #angrybirdsspace as one of the fastest growing games ever! rov.io/50MILL" the company's tweet said. Along with this announcement comes the teasing of something bigger. The company said the following in a blog post, "There's only one conclusion to draw: something even bigger is on its way."
No mention of what that bigger thing is, but it will be curious to see if they can beat 50 million downloads in 35 days. Or, it could be an announcement of a weekly cartoon or feature film, things that have been rumored for a while now. You can be sure that whatever happens, we will be here to report it.
Our Mobile App of the Day is Street View on Google Maps for Android.
With Street View on Google Maps, explore the world at street level.
With Google Maps Street View, you can explore the world at street level. See popular landmarks, check out places you want to visit in your hometown or far away, and take a virtual trip around the world.
To use Street View, open Google Maps, search for a place or long-press the map, and tap the Street View option.
To learn more about Street View and see where it's available, visit maps.google.com/streetview.
You can download Street View on Google Maps for Android directly from Google Play on your Android device, or here.
Our Mobile App of the Day is Fragile Earth for iOS.
*Promotional price in celebration of Earth Day 2012- only available until midnight Saturday 28th April*
Fragile Earth is a stunning photography app giving a birdseye view of climate change, urbanization and nature's raw power - in which rivers flood and dry up, mountains erupt, glaciers melt and cities sprawl outward.
STUNNING PHOTOGRAPHY APP
The app contains some of the best environmental images showing before and after scenes of our natural world. This is one of the top photography apps for showing the changing world giving you detailed ecological snapshots from around the globe.
See years pass under your fingertips with our innovative swipe action. Explore how Dubai has grown from a small city to a thriving metropolis over the last 10 years, or how the notorious Warming Island got its name since 1985.
Our Mobile App of the Day is Words by Post for Windows Phone.
Words By Post is the only cross-platform word game that keeps track of your skill level and always matches you against players of similar ability to your own. And since it is available for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phones, you can play your friends no matter what type of phone they have!
Play this classic word game with real people! Challenge your friends to friendly games or play ranked matches against random opponents of similar skill levels. Compete for the highest rating. Play as many simultaneous games as you want!
Pin the app to your home screen and push notifications will let you know when you have moves waiting!
Tap any played word on the board to see the definition and etymology of the word.
Tap on your opponent's name to see your all-time head to head stats against that person.
Customize the board color theme to be either light or dark.
Chat with your opponents using the in-game message board.
Improve your ranking by playing ranked games against comparable opponents. Skill ranking updates using the classic Elo rating system to adjust your rank when you win or lose. A leaderboard view shows you how you compare to the top players.
Words By Post is perfect for players of all skill levels because your matched opponent's skill level will be adapted based on your own skill level.
Shake your phone to randomly reorder your tiles.
Microsoft's Skype acquisition has been relatively quiet, up until now. The Redmond-based company has finally released Skype for Windows Phone, as the video/voice chat program has hit version 1.0.
The private beta has been available since the end of February, but was only at v0.2, but the final v1.0 app has just hit the Marketplace. The new v1.0 Skype app brings the ability to search for and add new contacts, call to landlines, optimizations and the usual improvements. Skype for Windows Phone lets you make video and VoiP calls over both 3G and 4G, as well as Wi-Fi connections.
At the moment, the app has no background functionality which is a bit of a shot in the foot. Not being able to receive calls unless you're in the app is pretty much a show stopper for me. But, if you want to hit up some of that Skype for Windows Phone, you can get the v1.0 in the Marketplace.
Google released Chrome for Android 4.0 devices two months ago now, and while it was just a beta, it has been updated with some very cool new features and additions. The beta release held back some of these, and lacked key features such as file downloads, and requests for desktop views of websites. But, Google are now fixing these issues.
Chrome for Android now has support for 31 additional languages, and is available on all Android 4.0 devices, in all regions, as long as they support Google Play. Chrome for Android has been updated to support file downloads, and Android-configured proxy settings.
Support for complex text layout and right-to-left text is now present, making the browser a truly universal app. Chrome for Android now lets you request a desktop view of a web page, to plage a shortcut onto the Android home screen and to select which apps should handle selected links within the browser. Google is making Chrome for Android a very big contender for number one mobile browser, and with these changes, so quick, they're getting there, fast.
You can get Chrome for Android, here.