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Apps Posts - Page 84

Ustream unveils 'Broadcast for Friends', lets you stream live video from your phone to Facebook

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 flicks the switch on smart updates for Android-based apps

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.

Instagram reaches version 3.0, adds Photo Maps, infinite scrolling and speed improvements

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 gets Android, iPad apps, finally

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.

Continue reading 'Pinterest gets Android, iPad apps, finally' (full post)

Adobe, starting tomorrow, will disable new installs of Flash on Android-based devices

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 Translate update allows the app to translate text in images

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.

Facebook SDK 3.0 for iOS is here, brings mobile ads in the beta

Facebook SDK 3.0 for iOS hit beta a few weeks ago, but it looks like a finished version has popped up onto the surface of the Internet. The SDK continues to push a more iOS-native experience, better API support and better session management.




iOS 6 integration won't get the eye down until Apple pushes out their latest software update, with Facebook keeping a separate beta track active to serve forward-thinking developers. Facebook's regular users won't be getting the same reward, though. Mobile ads are peeking their head into the latest beta, it seems and while Facebook isn't pushing them big time [yet], it's a sign of things to come.


The social network is letting developers pitch their Android and iOS apps from Facebook's mobile portals, with a quick jump over to the relevant app store if the title isn't already loaded. At the moment there's no ETA, but with the mobile ads, I'm sure Facebook junkies are in no rush just yet.

Apple removing YouTube app from iOS 6, Google working on standalone version

Apple seems to be on an anti-Google rampage with iOS 6. The obvious change is the lack of Google Maps in the upcoming mobile operating system, but now Apple has said that the YouTube app will also be removed. It would seem that the reason for this change is due to the licensing agreement between Apple and Google has run out.




Don't fret, however, as Apple has confirmed that YouTube will work in Safari. They also said that Google is working on a standalone version of the app which will be available through the App Store. It's not clear whether Apple wanted to free the iOS experience of Google or if they got tired of paying Google's licensing fees.


It's likely that this change will be good for consumers. The stock YouTube app hasn't seen any major changes or improvements for years, however, now that Google has its own app, it can change and update it as much as it would like. A YouTube spokesperson said that "we are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users."


Apple's full statement is below:


Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.


Note that iOS 5 devices will not lose the stock YouTube app; it is only being removed from iOS 6.

Amazon unveils Instant Video app for iPad owners

Netflix isn't the only game in mobile town anymore as Amazon has just released its new Instant Video iPad app. The app is available free to iPad users and offers both Amazon Prime and non-Prime users the ability to purchase or rent videos from Amazon's online database of over 120,000 selections.




The rented or purchased content can then be streamed when online or downloaded for later offline viewing. Amazon Prime members can stream thousands of of movies and TV shows for no extra cost above and beyond their yearly $79 fee. Non-members are required to purchase or rent each individual piece of content they want to watch.


The system is very similar in design and function to Netflix's offering. The layout looks very similar and it features a Watchlist, which is very similar to Netflix's queue. The one downside to the app is that purchases and rentals cannot be made directly from the app. Instead, users have to open Safari and head to Amazon's Instant Video Store. Once purchased, they are available for viewing from the app.

Spotify brings Pandora-like functionality to Android, stream free

Stop me if you've heard this one before. There's a new free app that allows you to stream music by creating a radio station based upon a song. The kind of music playing can be adjusted by giving playing tracks a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Why didn't you stop me? That's basically exactly what Pandora does!




However, the new app I am speaking of is not Pandora. Instead, it is a free streaming offering from Spotify. Spotify's new app does basically exactly what Pandora does, right down to playing ads to free listeners. I'm not exactly sure why anyone would pick Spotify over Pandora as they do the same thing.


Be that as it may, competition is good so we may see better apps out of both companies, fewer ads, or other incentives to use one app over the other. This same app was released for iOS last month and delivers the same functionality. The app is available in the Google Play store for free. Paying users don't have to listen to ads.

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