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It looks as though Sprint could be working on their own NFC wallet app. Last week, news leaked out that Sprint was developing their own NFC wallet app, and thanks to some slides passed along today, we now know that those rumors were true. The details are slim, but we certainly know more now than we did.
The thing looks pretty darn similar to Google Wallet. Sprint has been the only official partner carrier for that app, so they may have decided it would be better to make their own. The biggest questions remain unanswered. Questions like what bank partners Sprint will have or when it will be unveiled have yet to receive an answer.
Functionally, it appears to be near identical to Google Wallet. After the app is unlocked using a passcode, you receive a screen of options. If the phone is tapped to a reader, a listing of sorts will be presented to select a card to use. When you are done, the entire thing locks back up.
Users in the US need a singular app to get behind before these NFC wallets will take off. Is this the one for us, or is it just another novelty?
Instagram have been doing more than just rolling around in pools of money since their acquisition from Facebook, the exposure to millions upon millions of socially-connected users has its benefits. Last month, the photo sharing website saw a 78-percent surge in unique visitors in the United States.
This surge made Instagram the highest gaining site on the Internet for the month, according to analytics firm comScore. From comScore's reports, Instagram.com had close to 14.6 million unique U.S. visitors in April, which is up from the 8.2 million the month before. Considering that Instagram's bread and butter is from mobile applications for the iPhone and Android, this is a pretty big feat for the photo sharing service.
But, April was a huge month for Instagram: on April 3 they released their long-awaited Android app, and just a few days later Facebook announced they were acquiring the company for close to $1 billion in cash and shares. Both of these events would've triggered a surge in Instagram activity, as seen from the comScore report.
Amazon has had a feature like this for sometime and it looks as though Apple is finally following suit. It's no surprise that iOS users like to save money just as much as Android users who get this feature from the Amazon app store. The only announcement regarding this is a tweet by Apple, so this could be a one time thing, but I doubt it is.
The tweet by Apple says "Cut the Rope: Experiments is our #FreeAppoftheWeek. Go to the App Store for your free download. tw.appstore.com/uUj" so I'm going to guess it will be a continuous thing going forward. To go along with this, the description of the app says "***FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME***".
The app itself is actually a pretty fun game. I've played it before on a Windows 7 tablet that was running Windows 8. The object of the game is to cut various strings and manipulate objects to get the piece of candy over to the monster. While I'm not sure I would pay for the app, I'd definitely take it if it was free as it is now.
Facebook Camera is a new app which is designed to let users see just pictures from all of your Facebook friends. Designed and released by Facebook, I can't help but feel the Instagram acquisition is partly to blame for this. With the new app comes the ability to share multiple photos at once, instead of having to upload them one at a time.
The new app makes viewing photos easier as you can swipe through the pictures in an album. In Facebook's words: "When you launch the app, you'll see a feed of just great photos from the people you care about. You can swipe to see more of any album or tap to enlarge an individual photo." Cool. But isn't that what you already do on the regular Facebook app?
The reason to believe it is due in part to the Instagram acquisition? This feature right here: "It's also easy to edit photos with new tools like the ability to crop, rotate and add filters to any picture in your camera roll." Specifically, the add filters function. The new app will be available on iPhones later today and Facebook is offering the option to have a link texted to your iPhone.
Our Mobile App of the Day is Feed Me Oil for Windows Phone.
When hunger strikes, strike oil! Welcome to a weird and wonderful place where the land is literally alive - and it's starving! Your job is to get the oil from the broken pipe to the mouths of the strange creatures. It won't be easy though, as you'll need to use all sorts of fun tools, as well as your brains, to solve the puzzles.
A huge variety of mind-bending levels will test your mental skills. Different ways to solve each puzzle for endless replayability.
A JOY TO PLAY
Intuitive controls that make the game a breeze to pick up. Incredibly slick and realistic physics create oil like you've never seen. Use fans, magnets, wind, and more to beat each level.
Unique, surreal art design that looks amazing. Stunning musical soundtrack that features jazz, emotive piano tracks, and more.
You can download Feed Me Oil directly from the Windows Marketplace on your Windows Phone device, or here.
Chinese search company Baidu has whispered into the ears of TechCrunch that they have some big plans for the Baidu Cloud Smart Terminal system that runs their newly-announced phone. Baidu wants to push Baidu Cloud into all major mobile operating systems, including Windows Phone, iOS and Android.
According to a Baidu spokesperson, the company wants to eventually produce a Windows Phone with Baidu Cloud, as well as an iOS-based device. A Windows Phone I could see happening, but an iOS device? It would really require Apple's complete permission, and I just can't see this happening.
Baidu Cloud is a suite of apps tied into Baidu's storage, music and search offerings. The phone announced today, is a low-cost phone, dubbed Changhong H5018 and sports a 3.5-inch 480x320 touchscreen, 3G connectivity, and a 3-megapixel camera. It will be available for $158, which earns it the right to be dubbed a low-cost smartphone. Baidu Cloud runs on top of Android 2.3, and because Google gives Android partners much more freedom in adapting their OS, it gives Baidu the chance to start off on Android.
Our Mobile App of the Day is OfficeSuite Pro 6+ for Android.
View, Edit, Print and Share your office documents on the go!
**** Now with 33% off! ****
Create, view, edit, print and share Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files and attachments and view PDF files on your Android based phone with a single complete feature-rich mobile office solution. The software utilizes the most commonly used desktop document formats and also includes a File Browser and integration with Google Docs, DropBox, Box and SugarSync to help you manage your local, remote files and email attachments. OfficeSuite Pro is an essential productivity application offering greater office efficiency than ever anywhere, anytime.
Facebook's ongoing IPO roadshow is happening, and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has teased investors with a better idea of what they could expect to be key revenue drivers for the social networking site, once it goes public.
Firstly, Zuckerberg said that Facebook will concentrate on improving its mobile application, where they'll infuse other online apps into Facebook, and secondly, creating a "transformative" advertising experience".
Zuckerberg spoke at Palo Alto's Crowne Plaza, where he tried to calm investor nerves over Facebook's revenue streams. Advertising revenue and user base growth rates have begun to slow down as Facebook reaches market saturation. Zuckerberg of course calmed investors that Facebook's advertising would still drive revenues.
If you're one of the many users of Turntable.fm, the online DJ site which helps people find new music, and own an Android phone, there is now an app available for you. The new app is compatible with every Android device running version 2.2 or higher. There are a couple of bugs that still need to be worked out, but it's great it has expanded from just being on the web and iOS.
Turntable.fm had promised this app just a little bit ago saying that it was "coming soon" and it did. Now that the Android app is out, there are some other features that I'm sure users would like to see. Mainly, I think that the primary thing on fans' wishlist is for the site and app to be available outside of the United States.
Right now, the expansion to beyond the United States has been halted due to licensing agreements and copyright difficulties. It most likely will take a few years before all of that gets cleared up, so right now focus on the new app and help find bugs for the Turntable.fm team to fix. If you do, everyone will end up with a better app.
Flipboard CEO, Mick McCue has revealed that the apps number of downloads in China will "easily surpass" what they're seeing in the US in the near future. The company is also looking to create a Chinese base of operations, too.
The company launched a Chinese service last December, which even included a dedicated editorial team. March of this year saw an iPhone app, and just yesterday we saw the app hit the Samsung GALAXY S II. McCue has said that the number of downloads of Flipboard in China is already equal with those in the US.
Flipboard is looking at 5 million downloads in China by the end of 2012, and in order to help that growth, McCue has revealed that an official Android-based application will hit the country. This is a good move, as Android represents 68.4-percent of smartphone sales in China, according to Analysys research.