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Google has released version 6.7 of Google Maps for Android. Sorry iOS users, but you guys are left out of the features that come with this update. Google Maps for Android now features indoor walking directions and Google Offers integration with participating venues. The announcement states that these features are only available in the United States, but it appears that the walking directions extend to Japan at the least.
Google Offers hasn't exactly spread like wildfire and is currently on the decline. However, this new integration within Google Maps should give the service a boost as it will allow users to purchase or use nearby offers straight from Google Maps. A perfect example is if you are taking a roadtrip and are looking for a place to eat.
Google's blog post:
Today, in the U.S. only, we're launching a way to discover nearby Google Offers in Google Maps for Android. To see great deals near you, tap on "Maps" to open the dropdown menu and then tap on "Offers." If you see something you like you can click on it to learn more. Some Google Offers can be purchased and saved for later while others are immediately available for free.
With free Google Offers, press "Use now" to redeem instantly or "Save for later" for future use. You can also opt-in to receive notifications in the app when there are offers near you.
Sending risque photos of yourself is pretty risky. Once the data that comprises that picture leaves your phone to another's, it can exist, be copied, or shared indefinitely. But what if you really want to send that picture of yourself in that tiny bikini to your boyfriend? Well, that's where Snapchat comes into play.
Snapchat facilitates the prevention of photos remaining on other people's devices after sending them. The person who sends the picture can choose how long the other person can view the image for after it is opened. The sender can choose anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds. After the time is up, the app deletes the data.
This isn't fully fool proof. The recipient could take a screen shot, but the app will notify the sender if this occurs. The recipient could also take a picture of the phone with a camera so that the app doesn't notify the sender. If a receiver goes this direction, however, there is a bit of quality loss. However, it is likely to aid in preventing some unwanted saving and sharing.
Video-sharing app Viddy is continuing its ride to super stardom, with the app hitting 26 million users and is growing by 500,000 new users each and every day. We reported last week that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had joined the video-sharing service.
Viddy is growing at this rate thanks to some of its celebrity users, like Zuckerberg, and investors such as Shakira, Jay-Z, Will Smith and more. Viddy is huge because it doesn't just relate to one subject, one person, or a group of people. It's video sharing for everyone. People from Bill Cosby, to Snoop Dogg are joining the Viddy ranks, and we can see it expanding from its 500,000 new users each day.
People are even referring to uploading a video to Viddy as "posting a Viddy", which seems to be catching on. Just like you'd tell someone who wants to search for something, you'd say "Google it". Vissy is definitely catching on, and it should see a surge when it jumps over to Android, too.
Our Mobile App of the Day is SwiftKey X Keyboard for Android.
- Android typing has never been this easy.
- * Global Mobile Awards Most Innovative App 2012 *
- SwiftKey X Keyboard makes typing much easier on your phone, replacing your touchscreen keyboard with one powered by smarter natural language technology.
- SwiftKey X understands how words work together, giving much more accurate corrections and predictions than other keyboards. Very sloppy typing will magically make sense, and SwiftKey X also powerfully predicts the word you may want next.
- SwiftKey X learns as you use it to make typing easier and even more accurate over time, and you can also personalize it using your Gmail, Facebook, Twitter or blog posts.
- This app is among Android's best selling apps for a reason -- it genuinely transforms your keyboard, making typing a breeze and saving you hassle every day.
As I reported yesterday, users of the iOS Rock Band app received a message that they would no longer be able to play the game and thanked them for 'rocking out with us.' Users, of course, flipped out and started posting bad reviews on the app and demanding their money back across a plethora of online communities.
The developers of Rock Band were caught off guard by the message, so they redirected all questions to EA Mobile. Apple additionally directed questions to EA, who remained quiet in the face of it all. EA has finally come out with a statement blaming the message on an error and that the game would still be playable.
Rock Band for iOS will remain live-the in-app message users received yesterday was sent in error. We apologize for the confusion this caused. We're working to clarify the issue that caused the error and will share additional information as soon as possible.
The app itself has also received a similar message in the same manner of the last message. If you're confused how the message got in there by error, you're not alone. I'd like to take this moment to throw out the possibility that EA was indeed shutting the game down, but has reversed the decision due to all of the public outcry.
Yes, I know that money is a good thing, but when a company starts to go overboard on advertising and monetization, they start to lose users. I'm afraid that is what is going to stat happening with the hip app DrawSomething. The number of users playing the game daily is already dropping, and has dropped so much that it is back to the level it was at when Zynga acquired the app.
Zynga is adding advertising to DrawSomething, in addition to the current banner ads and paid versions. This time, Zynga wants DrawSomething users to draw brands or words associated with brands or picked by brands. The National Hockey League has already paid Zynga for this, hence why you may have been asked to draw 'puck,' 'Zamboni,' or 'slap shot.'
OMGPOP had actually been testing this before the acquisition by Zynga, so this move isn't exactly surprising. It's pretty clear that brands would pay for this sort of advertising, but let me suggest a feature. Zynga, if I am drawing brands, you should save all the pictures for that brand and give them to them so that they could be used in marketing.
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.