Posts Tagged app

Free ‘Treasure Park’ Vita app out now

Treasure Park, one of three free apps confirmed for the Vita, is available now in the PlayStation Store in North America and Europe.

Treasure Park allows players to create their own grid-based puzzle sheets with hidden objects and bombs, and share them with friends via the Near app.

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New app helps parents decode kids’ text messages

LONDON: Scientists have developed a new app which will help parents decipher the modern-day text message lingo their kid uses.

TextGenie, a new app created by a UK-based software solutions company, DCML deciphers text language and slang from incoming SMS messages and translates them into plain English for confused parents, The Telegraph reported.

Research by DCML claimed that 84 per cent of parents with teenagers admit to receiving text messages from their children which they simply do not understand.

Parents often find messages littered with abbreviations and text speak hard to understand – such as 2go2 (to go to) or 2nyt (tonight).

Drawing on an existing catalogue of 1,500 abbreviations, TextGenie allows people to build up their own database of words and phrases often used by their children.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 63 per cent of teenagers now send text messages every day – compared with just 39 per cent using their phone to make calls.

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NBC News app now on Xbox Live

Microsoft has announced that the National Broadcasting Company (colloquially known as NBC) has released a news app on Microsoft’s Xbox Live. The app features content from many of NBC’s various news programs, including Meet the Press, Hardball, Dateline, Nightly News and the Rachel Maddow Show. The NBC News app is available now on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

We know what you’re thinking: “News? On my television?” There’s no denying that it sounds bizarre, but it just might work.

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Spend more to get noticed on Apple’s App store

Getting noticed on Apple’s App Store has become more expensive for developers this year, while application downloads haven’t increased much, according to Fiksu, a digital marketing company.

Developers who actively market their apps on the world’s largest mobile-software marketplace spent about $1.44 to attract each loyal user in June, an increase of 13% from a year earlier, Fiksu said in its report. A loyal user opens an app three or more times, according to Fiksu.

Competition between app developers is heating up as the market matures and users have more choices among apps offering similar features. Costs peaked in December at $1.81 per user as developers tried to attract people who got an Apple device for the holidays.

The 200 most popular free iPhone apps were downloaded 4.63 million times per day, on average, last month, an increase of 2.7% from June of last year, Fiksu said.

Apple has paid $5 billion to developers selling their wares in the App Store and more than 30 billion apps have been downloaded since the digital store’s opening in 2008, Tim Cook, the company’s chief executive officer , said at a press conference last month. Most developers aren’t complaining.

Mobile apps for Apple and Google operating systems will generate $8.7 billion in revenue this year, up 60% from last year, according to a report by Flurry, a mobile-research company.

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Google grabs startup devoted to Apple gadget email

SAN FRANCISCO: A French startup behind email applications for Apple gadgets has been bought by Google as the Internet titan increasingly tailors hit software to run on its rival’s hardware.

Sparrow co-founder and chief executive Dominique Leca announced on Friday that the Paris-based startup’s team will go to work on Gmail, Google’s free Web-based email service.

“We’re joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision,” Leca said. “While we’ll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users.”

A Sparrow email application for iPhones became available for purchase in Apple’s online App Store in March, and a version of the software for Macintosh computers has been available since early last year.

“The Sparrow team has always put their users first by focusing on building a seamlessly simple and intuitive interface for their email client,” a Google spokesperson said.

“We look forward to bringing them aboard the Gmail team, where they’ll be working on new projects.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition came as Google ramped up software offerings that compete with custom programs that Apple builds into its iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices.

Google last month took the Web browser battle to iPads and iPhones with the release of Chrome software for popular Apple devices built with Safari online surfing programs at heart.

Safari remains the default browser used in Apple gadgets and the “engine” that Chrome or other Web-surfing applications rely on to function.

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Can Smartphone Apps Help You Increase Your Fitness Level?

Our smart phones can do many different things these days, but one thing that most people don’t think about is their ability to help you stay fit. In an age when technology appears to be making us more sedentary, there is actually much to praise in the app industry as regards tools for fitness! Here is a list of a few free, or at least very cheap, apps that I highly recommend for you to consider:

1. Garmin Fit: This app is at the number one place for a reason. Garmin Fit allows you to keep track of all the logistics of your workout, such as distance, elevation, heart rate, route traveled, and number of calories you burned in the process. This app then processes that information, allowing you to observe your growth, improvement, and general trends. On top of all that, it helps you choose a good workout playlist. This data is stored at the Garmin Connect Website so that you can review it at any time and scan your development over the course of long periods. Anyone who has struggled with maintaining a long term routine knows how difficult it is to keep up a strong vision for fitness when you don’t keep track of your progress. This app does just that, and more!

2. Get Running (Couch to 5k): Get Running is perfect for those would-be runners who have the desire, but perhaps lack the know how and motivation to lace up the shoes and head out the door. The app acts as a sort of personal running coach and offers a 9-week training program to get you going “from couch to 5k.” Many runners say that the most difficult phase in a runner’s journey is building from zero stamina to being able to run for 30 minutes without stopping. Get Running targets this period of a runner’s journey and has helped numerous people get out on the trail. Get Running also helps you record your progress and even offers to post your newest data on Facebook and Twitter for your friends and relatives to keep up with your journey to becoming a runner.

3. All-In Fitness: I’m pretty excited about this app. What do you think is the main reason people choose not to start working out? It’s actually the fact that they don’t know what to do! This great app takes all the guess work out of starting a routine. With All-In Fitness, your phone will contain 1,000 exercises all featured in HD videos, 100 complete workouts, and input from real personal trainers to offer you the full introduction to fitness straight from your phone! If you are a longtime fitness guru, however, the sheer volume of available exercises is sure to beef up your repertoire and help you keep your body guessing.

4. Strava: Strava is like a social network for your training partners and competitors. We all know that competition makes exercise more fun, and with this app, you can create a virtual record board for your local trail, circuit, or track. You can upload your newest bests, and challenge your friends to step up to the plate! Strava includes multiple metric devises to record your essential information as well, such as: elevation, heart-rate, distance covered, and calories burned.

5. Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker: MyFitnessPal has created a great product that allows you to manage the half of fitness training and weight loss that most people ignore: your diet! Calorie Counter enables you to scan barcodes to download nutritional info, record your recent meals and intake, and keep yourself accountable for what you decide to indulge in. Any exercise system that says you can eat whatever you want is a scam, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours every day crunching numbers and obsessing over calories. This app does it all for you!
Author Bio: Zachary James writes for www.BoxFitUK.com, a boxing gear site for both the boxing and health enthusiast.

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Startup to bring real-money bets to social games

WASHINGTON: Online social games could get a shot of real money with a new platform launched by a startup on Monday.

The new platform to allow real-money bets on almost any online game is coming from Betable, a London-headquartered company with a British gambling license, and working in California with US game developers.

“This is the first and only platform to allow any game developer to allow real-money gambling,” said Christopher Griffin, chief executive of Betable.

Griffin told AFP the new system will allow players outside the United States and other jurisdictions where online gambling is legal to place real-money wagers.

He said this combines the experience of social games with the thrills of real betting. It can be offered on computers and a variety of mobile devices.

“Social game developers have all the ingredients that the gambling guys are missing,” Griffin said.

“They have good user experiences. They have a huge install base of a billion players, but they don’t have access to monetization.”

Betable has not announced any specific contracts, but said the platform could be used by the popular Facebook or social games like Zynga’s Farmville.

“We can turn the harvesting of crops into a slot machine,” said Griffin.

“You could add a slot machine, you could buy the corn with real money. The cool thing is you can build traditional casino games or invent totally new mechanics.”

Griffin said the problem with social games is that despite their popularity, developers have few opportunities to make money. Only a small number of players pay for “premium” games, and advertising revenues are limited.

Betable has a British gaming license which allows bets to be placed from any jurisdiction in the world where online gambling is legal. This means US players are excluded because of a ban on Internet gambling in the United States.

“At Betable, we’re unlocking real-money gaming for developers who can innovate in what up until now has been a massively impenetrable space,” said Griffin.

“Our partners and investors believe that Betable represents the largest opportunity for innovation and monetization for game developers in years.”

The company has not released details of its funding, but said it has “more than 25 investors” and “one of 2012’s largest seed rounds of funding.”

Those investing include venture capital groups Greylock Discovery Fund and FF Angel LLC, True Ventures, along with Facebook launch team member Dave Morin and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, an early Facebook investor.

“We believe real-money gaming will make the social games industry more successful and has the potential to catapult games that offer it to the top of every app store on the planet,” said Tony Conrad, partner at True Ventures.

“While awaiting the US legalization of online gambling which could take years, the overseas markets represent billions of dollars in opportunity for developers located anywhere in the world.”

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Phone app allows US users to film police activity discreetly

NEW YORK: A US civil rights advocacy group has launched a free mobile phone application that allows users to record police activity discreetly, saying it will help boost police force accountability.

The New Jersey branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) explains that “Police Tape,” available to the public since Tuesday, “allows people to securely and discreetly record and store interactions with police.”

The Android phone application, available for download on the website of the ACLU of New Jersey, is “an essential tool for police accountability,” said the office’s executive director Deborah Jacobs.

“Too often, incidents of serious misconduct go unreported because citizens don’t feel that they will be believed.”

Unlike traditional smartphone recording apps, “Police Tape” disappears from the screen once it is launched, minimizing the possibility that police will notice the recorder.

The application allows users to send the file to the ACLU for safe-keeping and analysis.

“Police Tape” also contains legal advice on the rights of citizens confronted by police.

The ACLU of New Jersey website cites several court rulings that recognized citizens’ rights to film police activity.

A similar application for iPhone will be available later this summer, the site says.

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Google releases tablet app for social network

SAN FRANCISCO: Google’s Plus social network will have its own app for tablet computers.

A version for Android devices is available Wednesday, while one for Apple’s iPad is coming “very soon.” The app will help you send invites to friends for events such as birthday parties. It will also make it easier for you to share and organize photos on Google Plus.

Google considers Google Plus crucial to challenging Facebook Inc.

Launched nearly a year ago, Google Plus now has 250 million registered users. That’s far smaller than Facebook’s more than 900 million _ and that counts only those who use the service in a given month. But at nearly the one-year mark, Facebook had just a million.

Google also says more people use Google Plus from mobile devices than traditional computers

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Amazon offer Cloud Player app for iPhone

SAN FRANCISCO: Amazon on Tuesday released its music player app for iPhone and iPod touch, a move that expands the reach of the Internet retail giant for Apple users.

The Cloud Player app allows customers to stream or download music stored in Amazon accounts to the iPhone or iPod touch, play music that is already stored on their device, and manage or create playlists.

Amazon, a big rival to Apple’s iTunes, will not be selling music through the app but will allow its customers to manage and listen on Apple hardware.

“Customers tell us that they want access to all of their music, wherever they are, and on all of the devices they use,” said Steve Boom, vice president of digital music for Amazon.

“By bringing Cloud Player to iPhone and iPod touch, we now have the most widely compatible cloud playback solution available, giving our customers the ability to buy once and enjoy their music everywhere.”

Amazon is also selling its own tablet computer, the Kindle Fire, in a challenge to the market-leading iPad from Apple. But Kindle sales are believed to be slipping after a sales surge last year, according to analysts. Amazon does not provide sales data for the Kindle.

Some reports say Amazon is readying an expansion of its app store to more international markets and the Android platform in a more direct challenge to Apple and Google.

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