Skype starts pre-release program for iOS, rolls out small 5.9 update

By Jake Smith on Jan 14, 2015

Microsoft-owned Skype announced a new pre-release program for its iOS app on Wednesday, aimed at its most engaged users.

The company said in a blog post that users accepted into the pre-release program will get access to early versions of Skype in exchange for their regular feedback and NDA signature. Skype is limiting access to those 18 or older and who have a valid email address and Skype or Microsoft Account. Read More

 

Google Translate for iOS gains Word Lens translation, conversation tools

By Jake Smith on Jan 14, 2015

Google announced a significant update for the Google Translate app for iOS on Wednesday, adding technology from Word Lens after it was acquired by Google in May 2014. Read More

 

Study: Google Play overtakes App Store in amount of apps

By Jake Smith on Jan 13, 2015

Google Play had more apps than the Apple iTunes Store at the end of 2014, marking a big change for app community, a new study from appFigures said on Tuesday.

It said Google surpassed Apple for total number of apps with 1.43 million compared to 1.21 million. The apps come from roughly 390,000 Android app developers and 280,000 iOS developers, those of which have to pay $99 a year to be a part of Apple’s Developer Center.  Read More

 

Spotify now has 15 million subscribers, 60 million active users

By Jake Smith on Jan 12, 2015

Spotify now has 15 million subscribers paying for its premium features and 60 million active users total, the music streaming giant announced on its blog on Monday.

The new numbers on Monday compare to number two months ago when the company said it had 12.5 million paying users out of 50 million subscribers, showing impressive growth for the latter number. Read More

 

Apple releases revamped App Store category just for kids

By Jake Smith on Jan 12, 2015

Apple has added a new category to its App Store, aimed just at children, the company’s official App Store Twitter account announced on Saturday.

“Set children loose in wondrous worlds designed especially for them,” the “Games for Kids” category description writes.” From cute puzzlers to accessible tower-defense games, our selections are perfect for a wide range of skill levels and interests.” Read More

 

Rise & Shine alarm clock app makes you smile before it shuts up

By Jake Smith on Jan 11, 2015

Rise & Shine is a new app, from the folks at Foley Productions, that has a creative way of getting you to wake up in the morning (or evening, depending on your schedule). We’ve seen apps where you have to shake the handset to make the alarm clock shut up, however Rise & Shine takes it a step further – you have to show it your pearly whites with a smile. Read More

 

5by for iOS will serve up videos based on your mood

By Jake Smith on Jan 9, 2015

5by is an app on the iTunes App Store that will serve you with videos based on your mood. I’ve often done this through YouTube, where I’m in a really bad mood and will search for comedy videos to help brighten my spirits (I’m rarely mad, but it happens). 5by, also available on the web, will help expedite the process. Read More

 

Apple institutes app price hikes in Europe, Canada and Russia as iPhones get more expensive in Brazil

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 9, 2015

As reported by AppleInsider, Apple has raised minimum prices of iPhone and iPad applications in the App Store in Canada, the United Kingdom, Norway and in the European Union.

As a result of the changes, customers in Canada will now see a minimum app price raised from $0.99 (USD$0.83) to $1.19 (USD$1.01). In the United Kingdom, the new minimum tier has gone up from £0.69 ($1.04) to £0.79 ($1.19) and €0.99 ($1.17) in the European Union, up from €0.89 ($1.05) before.

In addition, smartphones, tablets and other gadgets Apple sells in Brazil saw their prices skyrocketing by an average of 10 percent due to the steady devaluation of the country’s currency, real. Read More

 

More details surface for Twitter’s video feature: Shoot, edit, post videos from app

By Jake Smith on Jan 9, 2015

Twitter plans to unveil its new video feature in the next few weeks, reports Recode, and apparently some of the past details shared were wrong. Instead of a 10 minute video limit for the Twitter Video service like previously believed, it will be closer to 20 seconds and actually have a lot of similarities to the six-second, Twitter-owned Vine. Read More

 

Apple announces new records for the App Store, New Years day was its best day ever

By Jake Smith on Jan 8, 2015

Apple on Thursday announced that the first week of January set a new record for billings from the App Store, with customers around the world spending nearly half a billion dollars on apps and in-app purchases. It also revealed New Year’s Day 2015 marked the single biggest day ever in App Store sales history, as customers presumably used gift cards and took advantage of App Store sales. Read More

 

Twitter planning native video service to rival YouTube

By Jake Smith on Jan 3, 2015

In an effort to drum up more engagement from users, Twitter plans a native video player as an extension of its Vine service, and as a rival to Google’s YouTube. Instead of just tweeting a URL to a video elsewhere, Twitter wants users to actually upload videos to its site to keep engagement and sell you products through advertisements.

The Twitter Video website, with limited access, appeared for a short time on Friday evening, clueing us in on some of the features Twitter Video may feature when it launches in the first half of 2015. While Twitter provided a few small details about its video service on a conference call in November, this is the first time we’ve gotten some real details. Read More

 

Apple’s ‘Start Something New’ campaign extends to Apple Store walls

By Jake Smith on Jan 3, 2015

Apple has extended its “Start Something New” campaign, to highlight art and photography created on the iPhone and iPad, past the web and into its retail stores.

Twitter user Storeteller noted on Friday that the Regent Street Apple Store in London began displaying the art Apple began showing on the “Start Something New” webpage earlier this week. Read More

 

Apple pushes ‘Start Something New’ webpage worldwide to highlight iOS’ artistic nature

By Jake Smith on Jan 1, 2015

Apple’s marketing team has pushed a new webpage worldwide titled “Start Something New” to highlight the iPad as a way of creating art through drawings and photographs. Read More

 

Apple reopens iTunes Connect after holiday shutdown, here come app updates

By Jake Smith on Dec 31, 2014

Apple announced Tuesday evening that its iTunes Connect portal is now open again after shortly shutting down for the holidays, allowing developers to once again manage their apps with price changes, updates, and more.  Read More

 

Twitter expands ads into “Following” list, drama unfolds

By Jake Smith on Dec 30, 2014

Twitter has ramped up the use of advertising within its mobile apps – this time in your “Following” list. Go ahead and take a look, you might find some brands or people showing up on the list, even if you don’t follow them. Read More

 

Apple puts into effect 14-day return policy on digital purchases in Europe

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2014

Apple typically handles refunds of digital purchases on a case-by-case basis and with an “All Sales Final” provision. But now, Apple’s reportedly switched to a 14-day return policy for movies, TV shows, music, books and apps in most European markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France, German blog iFun.de [Google Translate] reported Monday.

Apple’s updated policy in these countries states that customers can now cancel their digital purchase within fourteen days from when they received their receipt “without giving any reason,” with the exception of iTunes Match, Season Pass, Multi-Pass and iTunes Gift Cards and Allowances that can’t be refunded once you have redeemed the code or activated the service. Read More

 

Apple’s Beats Music reportedly wants to fuel engagement with exclusive album releases

By Jake Smith on Dec 28, 2014

Apple’s Beats Music, with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre at the helm, is looking to form partnerships with artists for exclusive releases, mirroring success iTunes has had in the past, reports New York Post.

Specific artists haven’t been named, however Beats Music has strong partnerships with artists already, from its promotion and endorsements of Beats headphones. Nicki Minaj frequently stars with Beats products in her music videos. Will.i.am, Pharrell, Kanye West and Gwen Stefani are said to be friends of Iovine and Beats lovers. Read More

 

Twitter for iOS adds analytics, tracking impressions and engagement

By Jake Smith on Dec 22, 2014

Twitter unveiled on Monday that it’s added detailed analytics to its official iOS app, allowing users to track engagement with their tweets and profile.

The update is rolling out now on the iTunes App Store. Viewing analytics is as simple as clicking on your tweet, going to its detail page, and tapping “View Tweet Activity.” Read More

 

Watch ABC Apple TV app updated with full-length episodes one week after air

By Jake Smith on Dec 18, 2014

ABC announced on Thursday its Watch ABC app on the Apple TV has been updated with full-length episodes after they air, along with a new bolder, immersive look and feel, more short form video, and a continuous play mode. Read More

 

Apple switching to per-country VAT across App Stores in Europe

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

Apple is changing its pricing scheme across European App Stores, switching from the previously same VAT rate it imposed across the entire European Union to a country-specific model, iMore reported.

Apps European customers purchase on their local App Store previously had an Irish 22 percent VAT on them. With this change taking effect soon, Apple will be now calculating app prices based on whatever VAT is used in each customer’s home country. Read More

 
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