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Instagram breaks through 80 million user barrier

Instagram have announced that the photo-taking and sharing service now has passed 80 million users, a 60-percent increase in the last 13 weeks. Instagram infrastructure engineer Rick Branson wrote in a tweet "we now have >5.7m users per employee", with Instagram having 14 employees, the math is simple, Branson adds "We're hiring :)".




Instagram have had a fun-filled adventure, with the service launching in October of 2010, and only took the company a year and a half to hit 50 million users, which the company announced back in April. This means it took just three months to add a 30 million users. The growth that Instagram are experiencing is quite amazing.


Up to now, the 80 million or more Instagram users have shared more than 4 billion photos, mostly of their food in front of them. That last bit was a bit of humor from me, not actual fact.

Android FPS game goes free after 'unbelievably high' piracy rates

Madfinger Games has said they have been forced into relaunching their Android game at a lower price point due to piracy rates. Even though the app only cost $0.99, Madfinger Games has said that piracy rates were "unbelievably high" and that is why they have relaunched the game for the low price of free.




The game is available for Android users on the Google Play store for users who would like to download it. Of course users who purchased the app are not exactly happy that it is now free and as such have started posting angry one-star reviews. Madfinger Games has released a statement regarding the change, although it's doubtful to relieve much anger:

Continue reading 'Android FPS game goes free after 'unbelievably high' piracy rates' (full post)

Windows Store on Windows 8 to enable, facilitate 7-day trials

The release of Windows 8 is getting closer and closer every day and Microsoft keeps releasing more and more information about the upcoming operating system. The latest nugget of news is that the app store, aptly and unimaginatively named Windows Store, will enable and facilitate the ability to offer 7-day free trials.




This is a welcome addition. As most users of iOS know, there is no method for offering trials through the app store. While some developers have produced lite versions of their paid apps, significantly more have not. Furthermore, these lite versions aren't exactly the same as a full version trial. Developers also have to worry about putting safeguards in, which isn't the easiest task, especially with Apple's restrictions.


However, Microsoft has detailed how the Windows Store will offer APIs and facilitate the ability to offer 7-day free trials of paid apps. It turns out that a try-before-you-buy offer boosts sales to as high as five times. Microsoft is even going to offer analytics to show how many conversions are made from the trials.


Trials will benefit both developers and consumers. Developers get a chance to get up to five times more sales and consumers get to test out an app before purchase. There's really no downside to this proposition.

App transfers data by 'singing', works in loud areas at low volume

A new app has been developed by a new spinout from University College London, Department of Computer Science. Based upon the work of senior researchers, the app transfers data by chirping a series of notes. These chirps are designed to work in loud environments, such as pubs, at low volumes.




Even cooler is that the app can transfer data to multiple devices without being paired to any of them. Each chirp lasts about two seconds and is composed of about 12 distinct notes. When another device hears the sequence of chirps, it decodes it into a shortlink which can then be accessed to download the data.


The chirp can also be saved for later viewing if an active data connection is not available. The ability of being able to transfer to multiple devices without pairing offers a significant advantage over other data transfer apps. More information on the app is available on their site at

Mobile App of the Day: Reqvu for iOS

Our Mobile App of the Day today comes in the form of Reqvu for iOS.




Video for Facebook made simple.


Your life is full of sound and motion, so why limit yourself to photos? The all new Reqvu is the video app made for Facebook that simplifies and adds more fun ways to make and share videos directly with your friends, and even Facebook groups.


See something your friends would like? Dedicate it to them.

Want to see what your friends are seeing? Make a video request.

See something all your friends would like? Make a video update.


You know what you like and what your friends like. Life is full of moments you can capture and share with the people you care about. Use the richness and vitality of video to share fun and interesting experiences that others will enjoy. Reqvu brings friends closer through video.


You can download Reqvu for your iOS-based device directly from the App Store, or here.

Chrome for iOS now accounts for 1.5% of the iOS browser market

Google released Chrome for iOS just over a fortnight ago, and even though it's being held back by Apple's security protocols and can't use its own rendering engine, the browser has been among the most popular free downloads on Apple's App Store since release.




According to the latest data from online advertising network Chitika, Chrome for iOS has snagged a market share of 1.5-percent on its network. Safari is still the champion browser on iOS, but Chrome is seeing some great growth, considering its just over two weeks old.


Chitika has found that around 14.5-percent of iOS users surf the Internet on a browser that isn't Safari. It is worth noting that most of this traffic doesn't necessarily come from a third-party web browser, but from people who arrive on a given site through an app such as Facebook. Chitika's data is based on an analysis of "hundreds of millions of impressions" from Chitika's ad network in both the U.S. and Canada.

Continue reading 'Chrome for iOS now accounts for 1.5% of the iOS browser market' (full post)

Microsoft updates My Xbox Live iOS app, now lets you control your Xbox 360 from your iPad

Microsoft have added some herbs and spices to their My Xbox Live iOS app, where there's a nifty feature that now allows you to use an iPad as a remote control for the Xbox 360. Version 1.6 of the app also adds a new Discover section that helps you find new and feature content to play on the Xbox 360.




In order to get going, you'll need to enable the Xbox Companion feature on your 360. This can be found in Settings, System, Console Settings, then Xbox Companion. After you've done this, you'll need to grab the app itself from the Apple App Store, and once you have it installed, just sign in with the same Windows Live account that you have linked to your Xbox 360, and that's it.


This the perfect app for those who don't want to always use the Xbox 360 controller, meaning you can continue to use your iPad for other things like Facebook or web surfing, periodically using it to control your Xbox 360.

Google releases the Google+ app for the iPad

Back in May, Google redesigned the Google+ experience for the iPhone, which added some new visual elements into the social networking app. But today, the company has released the Google+ app for the iPad, as well as introducing new features into both the iPhone and iPad apps.




Google designed the Google+ for iPad app with the iPad in mind, with your stream styles content based on popularity, type and orientation. The team has also added unique ways to interact with the app, such as:


  • Pinch and expand posts right in your stream to add your comments
  • Use two fingers to drag a post from your stream to easily re-share it
  • Start a Hangout from your iPad and stream it to your TV using AirPlay


Google have also now created the ability to create, and manage Events on Google+ directly from the iPhone app. You can post a comment, upload a photo or check out who's going. Your past event invitations are saved with all of the photos and posts shared by your friends, allowing you to relive that party anytime you wish.



Continue reading 'Google releases the Google+ app for the iPad' (full post)

Next Issue amps up iPad app, offers all-you-can-read magazines starting from $10 per month

It looks like Next Issue is about to become much bigger than they were yesterday, with the release of an app on iOS, with the iPad app hitting the App Store today. For those of you who aren't in the know with how Next Issue works, it wants to be the Netflix, or Spotify of the magazine world.




Next Issue offers monthly subscriptions for unlimited access to their library of 39 titles. This breaks down to around $10 per month for all the monthly and bi-weekly magazines, or alternatively, $15 for all of that, as well as access to tabloids and other weeklies. One note: the free app is the magazine reader, you'll need to download the apps through Next Issue's browser-based store.


What magazines do they have on offer? Well, most of the big players are on-board: Conde Nast, Time, Hearst, Meredith and News Corp. This means you'll have access to The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated and Popular Mechanics. Next Issue Media has also talked of wanting to double the catalog by the end of 2012, as well as grabbing deals with more publishers. I think I may just have to have one of those $15 per month subscriptions!

HBO Go arrives in Android-based tablets up to ICS

If you've been wondering why HBO Go was launched for the Amazon Kindle Fire a few weeks ago, and not Android-based devices, well, you can rest easy. The HBO Go app has hit version 1.5 and is now available on Google Play.




HBO Go's release notes state that it supports Android tablets running software up to and including Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. This means that the recently-announced Google Nexus 7 tablet won't work, but considering Jelly Bean is fresh, this is no surprise.


You'll need HBO, and pay-tv to sign into the app, but you most likely already knew that if you were reading this news. If you do try it out, be sure to let us know how you go!

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