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Posts tagged ‘Software’

24
Apr

Apple Watch app roundup: It’s all on the wrist


It’s Apple Watch day. And whether you received one already, or are stuck waiting a few weeks for it, you’ll want apps to make the most out of your new wearable when the time comes. Thankfully, we here at Engadget are always thinking about you, the reader, so we’ve put together a list of third-party apps that stand out from the 3,000-plus expected to be available at launch. But first, let’s talk about some essentials. The Twitter and Instagram Apple Watch apps, for starters, will let you check out tweets and view photos right on your wrist, among other things. Sports fans, meanwhile, have access to apps like ESPN, MLB At Bat and NBA Game Time, which makes it easy to keep up with scores without having to pull out your iPhone.

The Apple Watch is going to play a big role for fitness buffs too, and there are a number of apps to choose from in that department: Misfit, Nike+ Running, Runtastic and RunKeeper, to mention a few. Travel often? Don’t worry: Delta and American Airlines, two of the most popular airlines, both have apps. Of course, you may also want to kill time every now and then; for those cases, there are games such as Rules!, a tiny puzzle designed to give your brain a workout, and Pantagu, a novel, fast-paced take on the classic Tic-Tac-Toe. Oh, and then there’s the Chipotle app. Because burritos.

We’ll be updating the list below as more companies and services make their iOS apps friendly with the Apple Watch, so make sure to bookmark this page for future use.

Food

Chipotle — App Store

Yelp — App Store

OpenTable — App Store

Green Kitchen — App Store

Lifestyle

Nike+ Running — App Store

Runtastic — App Store

RunKeeper — App Store

Misfit — App Store

Lifesum — App Store

Strava — App Store

Games and Miscellaneous

Rules! App Store

Pantagu App Store

RunebladeApp Store

Mattel Magic 8 Ball — App Store

justWink — App Store

Sky Guide — App Store

Honeywell Lyric — App Store

AOL — App Store

Yahoo Weather — App Store

Music

Pandora — App Store

iHeartRadio — App Store

Shazam — App Store

Djay 2 — App Store

Musixmatch — App Store

News and Sports

The New York Times — App Store

CNN — App Store

NPR One — App Store

The Huffington Post — App Store

ESPN — App Store

NBA Game Time — App Store

MLB At Bat — App Store

Productivity

Evernote — App Store

Adobe Creative Cloud — App Store

Mint — App Store

Gero Time Management Companion — App Store

Merriam-Webster — App Store

1Password — App Store

Gneo — App Store

Shopping

Amazon — App Store

eBay — App Store

Target — App Store

Fandango — App Store

StubHub — App Store

Social and Messaging

Instagram — App Store

Twitter — App Store

Foursquare — App Store

Yo — App Store

Pip — App Store

Travel and Transportation

UberApp Store

BMW i Remote — App Store

Citymapper — App Store

Trip Advisor — App Store

Expedia — App Store

Delta Airlines — App Store

American Airlines — App Store

British Airways — App Store

SPG: Starwood Hotels — App Store

Filed under: Cellphones, Wearables, Software, Mobile, Apple

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24
Apr

Twitter Highlights serves up the day’s best tweets


Unless you’re constantly checking Twitter, there’s a very good chance you’re going to miss something cool. To help keep you from missing those very important tweets, Twitter introduced Highlights for Android. The feature notifies you up to twice a day about tweets Twitter believes are relevant to your interests. Twitter curates Highlights by looking at the popular accounts and conversations among the people you follow, tweets from people close to you and what’s trending nearby. Users can also see the day’s important tweets by tapping the new icon above the timeline that resembles two stacked cards. To turn on Highlights, navigate to Settings>Account Handle>Mobile Notifications and check the Highlights box. The feature is Android only for now, but Twitter says it will consider bringing it to other platforms in the future.

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Source: Twitter

24
Apr

[New Game] League of Evil devs launch Beatdown! in partnership with Noodlecake Games






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One of my favorite gaming studios has released another new title today that might just be up your alley called Beatdown! The new title is a classic side scrolling fighter titles, like Double Dragon and Battle Toads was, but offers a bit more of a real world feeling to the mix. The story is simple. Your character showed up at the office on Monday morning only to discover, via email mind you, that he was being fired after 10 years of service. Needless to say, he gets a little upset and goes into a rage and brings the hurt down on the whole office.

Beatdown! brings 20 levels of  hand to hand beatings mixed with bats, golf clubs, axes and other random objects. You will battle your way through 30 various enemies, some with laser eyes, across 20 levels set in 5 environments. That also means you will battle 5 bosses along the way too. The controls offer three different playing styles.


If you are looking to give a Beatdown! today then you should bounce to the Play Store and pick it up for $0.99.

The post [New Game] League of Evil devs launch Beatdown! in partnership with Noodlecake Games appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

23
Apr

Apple Watch App Store is ready to equip your device upon arrival


If you’ve already ordered Apple’s smartwatch, it should arrive sometime in the next few weeks. To prep for that delivery, the App Store’s selection of Watch-specific apps is available for browsing on the web or with that trusty iOS device. The Wall Street Journal reports that over 3,000 software options now reside in iTunes, ready to outfit the wearable with tools for keeping tabs on scores, fitness data, news, social channels, payments and more. Of course, if you haven’t secured one yet, you won’t be able to nab the gadget at your local retail store tomorrow, so you’ll have to wait until it arrives by mail.

Filed under: Wearables, Software, Apple

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Source: Apple

23
Apr

Latest Ubuntu hits the web with mostly minor refinements


Today’s release of Ubuntu 15.04 is yet another installment in the slow and steady march forward from Canonical. The company knows that not every OS release needs to be accompanied by fanfare and dramatic changes to your desktop. And this edition of the popular Linux distro perfectly epitomizes that philosophy. There are basically zero user-facing interface changes, except for the ability to set application menus to always show, instead of only popping up when you mouse over them. Otherwise most of the changes are under the hood. The OS should be faster and more stable, thanks to updates to updates to the underlying system, like the Unity desktop and Linux kernel. The default apps also got some minor version bumps, including Firefox and LibreOffice.

Ubuntu 15.04, or Vivid Vervet, is almost like a placeholder release. This is simply Canonical biding its time and applying Band-Aids while working towards a more dramatic revision that will accompany Unity 8, the next generation of its desktop environment. Like Microsoft, the company is pushing to unify its OS across platforms. That means one core system and a consistent UI across phones, tablets and desktops. When that goal will be realized remains to be seen, but until that time expect your favorite Linux distro to simply tread water.

Filed under: Software

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Source: Ubuntu

23
Apr

Will Tidal’s artist exclusives ruin streaming music?


Tidal Launch Event NYC #TIDALforALL

Tidal, the Jay Z-led music-streaming service, recently relaunched at the end of March with a roster of high-profile celebrity backers, like Madonna, Rihanna and Kanye West. The event was much more than an obvious photo-opp; it was a statement: In addition to a ceremonial pact signing, the group of over a dozen artists pledged to tackle fair compensation and improve the current state of streaming affairs for consumers and musicians. Part of this strategy involves offering content exclusive to Tidal. And while extra content is nice, it becomes worrisome when the exclusive bits take the form of much-anticipated full album releases. That seems to be Tidal’s plan to lure and retain subscribers. It’s a business plan that could very well kill the streaming-music vibe for everyone, especially when we’ve become used to an all-you-can-stream listening habit.

Tidal Launch Event NYC #TIDALforALL

Madonna had to get comfy before signing the pact.

Look, I get it. The best way for these services to attract new users is to promote what makes them different. When your business is providing content, you need stuff that no one else has, and that’s what Tidal has been trying to do since its launch. Earlier this month, Beyoncé’s new song, an anniversary present to Jay Z (real name: Shawn Carter), debuted exclusively on that service. And that behavior’s nothing new for streaming-music services. In fact, Spotify regularly releases its Spotify Sessions live recordings with artists like Meghan Trainor, Ryan Adams and many other artists. It also serves up Spotify Commentary versions of albums, in addition to timed releases. And Rdio does something similar with live EPs, and bonus tracks. I’m all for added content that complements the regular albums, but when the differentiation becomes exclusive artist rosters rather than the so-called bonus content, the cost for consumers looking for choice begins to add up. It’s either sign up for multiple streaming services or find another way to listen (hello, piracy).

Are the artists really in control?

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 2

Jack White performs on The Tonight Show in February.

Let’s look at Jack White, for example. White is one of the artists that took the stage alongside a dozen or so others a couple weeks ago to declare his part ownership in Tidal. He owns a label, Third Man Records, that published not only his solo work, but also that of his previous acts The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs. Since labels typically handle distribution, which would include any deals with streaming services, White seemingly has the final say as far as his music is concerned and can license it however he wants. In this case, his work is licensed to Columbia Records, a company with a much larger distribution network than his own outfit.

In Rihanna’s case, her new album could very well be the first exclusive release for Tidal.

There’s a way around a label’s control and that’s if the artist’s contract affords them the rights to the master recordings. Just last month, reports surfaced indicating that when Rihanna’s upcoming album releases on Roc Nation (Jay Z’s imprint), she’ll own the rights to those files. More recently, Jay Z just gained the rights to two more of his albums. What does that mean exactly? Well, typically, when artists hand over those master rights to a label in exchange for shouldering the costs of recording and distribution, they lose the ability to make licensing decisions. But in Rihanna’s case, it means her new album could very well be the first exclusive release for Tidal — one that’s sure to be among the most popular albums of the year.

The inconvenience of exclusivity

Tidal Launch Event NYC #TIDALforALL

Jay Z, Beyoncé and Arcade Fire’s Win Butler at the Tidal relaunch

While financial terms of each artist’s involvement in Tidal haven’t been disclosed, it’s hard to imagine any backer who’s financially invested not releasing their next album as an exclusive (timed or otherwise) on the service. We know that Jay Z purchased the service’s parent company, Aspiro, for $56 million and he recently told Billboard that each of the artist-owners had an equal stake. Turns out that equal stake is 3 percent each, with the rest of the shares divided up among Carter, investors and record labels. There will be additional shares available for second- and third-tier backers too, but these 16 folks are the key players.

So far, Tidal’s advertised exclusive content has been restricted to videos, singles and meet-and-greet contests. But with the possibility of other artists in Tidal’s camp retaining control of their master work, we could very well soon see full albums play a key role in the streaming-music wars. And that’s bad news for consumers. If you’re a fan of Rihanna, but are a faithful Spotify user, well, you could be left in a pinch. The (sorta) good news is most artists don’t have that kind of control over their work, which bodes well for rival streaming services.

Tidal’s iOS app

“If I put a record out, does it make sense to be exclusive on Tidal? Only if they’re paying significantly higher rates and they have all of the traffic,” says David Bakula, Nielsen’s SVP of Analytics.

Reports indicate that Tidal and Aspiro’s other music offering, WiMP, had 512,000 subscribers when Jay Z and co. took over operations and merged the two (Tidal so far has not released updated subscriber data). That’s significantly less than Spotify’s 15 million, even if they are offering better compensation per stream. But does that matter? Most of the money paid out from streaming goes to labels and the folks who handle licensing anyway — not the artists. It’s likely major labels won’t want to risk profits in an attempt to lure customers to Tidal under the banner of exclusivity.

50th Academy Of Country Music Awards - Roaming Show

Taylor Swift at the Academy of Country Music Awards

“If a consumer goes to a place and content isn’t available, a lot of times they’ll just move on,” Bakula continues. “As an artist, when you have to reach your fans everywhere that they are, I don’t think you can afford to say, ‘I’m just going to be here.’” And being everywhere is what turned the likes of Taylor Swift, Radiohead and others into the massive acts they are. “It’s different for Taylor Swift, because she has become as big as she is by doing all of those things and being everywhere, building that fan base up,” Bakula says. The lesson: People will likely follow Swift to a specific streaming platform, but they probably won’t chase after Tame Impala.

People will likely follow Taylor Swift to a specific streaming platform, but they probably won’t chase after Tame Impala.

“I think for the most part, the idea of exclusives is not good for fans,” Rdio CEO Anthony Bay told Bloomberg last week. “The idea that people will subscribe to multiple music services in order to get just a few songs or a few artists I think is going to slow down the whole category. It’s hard enough right now to get people to want to pay and understand the value of $10 a month.” Bay believes that if exclusivity deals start to dominate streaming, it’ll be easier for folks to go back to buying full digital albums.

RDIO & TIFF Present Ellie Goulding At RDIO House On King Street - 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

Ellie Goulding performs at the Rdio House in Toronto.

That said, Bay admits no one really knows how the concept of exclusives will play out. It could be a matter of a timed window, with a new release only being available on a particular service for a week, or even a month. Or, and this would be the worst-case scenario, artists would tie all of their digital catalogs to Rdio, Spotify, Beats or Tidal. Today, $10 a month for streaming a library of millions of songs is already a tough sell for some. But if you up that to around $30 or more per month just to have access to the full roster of your favorite musicians across multiple apps, then the streaming-music renaissance grinds to a halt.

The reaction

Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons Presented By Clive Davis And The Recording Academy Honoring Martin Bandier - Backst

Apple’s Tim Cook and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine at a Grammy event

The use of exclusive releases is more a question of “when” than “if” for Apple’s upcoming Beats Music/iTunes streaming service. iTunes has done this already (remember the great U2 debacle?), offering an album for purchase on its platform before it’s made available on services like Spotify or Rdio. Usually, though, these iTunes exclusives take the form of bonus tracks or videos. But whatever form exclusives take on the company’s new subscription service, it’s by no means a stretch that Apple will continue to flex its muscle and sign exclusive deals, especially in the wake of Tidal.

Right now it seems possible the streaming-music sandbox mentality could triumph over consumer choice.

According to Billboard, Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine attempted to lure some of Tidal’s backers, before its relaunch, over to the upcoming Beats Music service. What’s more, Bloomberg’s sources say that Apple is looking to lock down exclusives from artists like Swift and Florence and the Machine, whose How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful could be the big album of the summer.

So where does this leave the streaming companies without Apple’s deep pockets or a collection of popular musicians? Rdio’s already gone on record to oppose the exclusives strategy and Spotify doesn’t have the financial heft to compete. The Swedish company’s been clear about its financial model; that it’s not making any money and paying out most of its revenue (around 70 percent) to labels and publishers. That leaves only two major streaming music competitors to duke it out: Tidal with a roster of artists who control their own destiny, and Apple with its billion-dollar coffers.

Salute your solution

Spotify’s suite of apps

For the first time, last year streaming music sales surpassed physical CD sales, with subscriptions earning $1.87 billion, a 29 percent increase from 2013, versus $1.85 billion in CD revenues for all of 2014. Of course, streaming services have not overtaken downloads… yet. That’s still a $2.58 billion-per-year business, nabbing 37 percent of the market, but change is coming. With Spotify and Rdio continuing to add loads of new subscribers each quarter, and Apple’s expected service debut this summer, however, those numbers will surely continue to close the gap between downloads and services. Spotify, for example, added 2.5 million paying users between November and January, bringing its paid subscribers base to 15 million.

If the crux of the issue is artist compensation — as it appears to be for Tidal’s roster — then that’s something that should be resolved another way. I get that artists sign over their rights in a record deal and, in doing so, miss out on a big cut of streaming royalties until they can renegotiate. But there has to be a solution to the issue that doesn’t anger consumers and stymie the streaming revolution.

SNL 40th Anniversary Special - 2015

I feel ya, Kanye.

There’s no question that people are going to sign up and even switch over to Tidal if it means they’re guaranteed Rihanna’s album this year, or the next Kanye West release. And that’s fine so long as these deals are timed exclusives that don’t indefinitely lock out users of rival streaming services. Fair compensation shouldn’t be consumers’ burden; it’s between the artists and the labels that handle licensing deals. Right now, though, it seems possible the streaming-music sandbox mentality could triumph over consumer choice.

[Image credits: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images For Roc Nation (Tidal event); Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Roc Nation (Madonna); Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images (Jack White); Kevin Mazur/Getty Images For Roc Nation (Jay Z, Beyoncé, Win Butler); Kevin Winter/ACM2015/Getty Images for dcp (Taylor Swift); Karl Walter/Getty Images (Ellie Goulding); Michael Kovac/WireImage (Tim Cook and Jimmy Iovine); Theo Wargo/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images (Kanye West)]

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23
Apr

Diabetes app shares your blood sugar levels with strangers


Living with diabetes means tracking your meals and insulin level. The new One Drop app for iOS (an Android version is planned) aims to not only make that monitoring easier, but also use the logged information to help the larger diabetic community. The brainchild of Razorfish co-founder and diabetic Jeff Dachis, the app tracks food intake, insulin levels, medication and exercise. Users can then share that information (either publicly or anonymously) with other One Drop users to help the community learn from one another. They can also encourage each other via likes and stickers and use the gathered data to help inform their own regimen. The app is currently free, but Dachis told TechCrunch a monthly subscription is coming later in the year that would include a stylish bluetooth-enabled glucose meter and test strips.

Filed under: Misc, Software

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Via: TechCrunch

Source: One Drop

23
Apr

Tidal Discovery will allow independent artists to upload directly


While Tidal didn’t have too much to say about independent artists during its relaunch a couple weeks ago, the company is lending a hand now. In an interview with Smashd, Tidal’s Chief Information Officer Vania Schlogel discussed the upcoming Discovery feature for the service — the ability for indie acts to upload music directly. Why is this a big deal? Well, for the likes of Spotify, those musicians have to go through a third-party service like CD Baby or TuneCore to get their music in the apps. Since record labels typically handle licensing deals with subscription services, if you’re unsigned, you have to find another middleman. What’s more, all artists will have access to Tidal’s dashboard, where they can see exactly who’s listening to their music and get contact info for each person. That’s how Jay Z and Jack White were able to offer those thank-you calls last week.

“When it comes to the distribution of music, I want to get to a point where there are no blockades for artists in order to be able to easily do that for themselves,” Schlogel explained. “The end game being that we want everyone to be able to self-upload their own music and then track it very intuitively through this artist dashboard.”

“We want everyone to be able to self-upload their own music .”

The Discovery feature is rolling out slowly, being made available for more folks over time. Exactly how will this impact those indie artists? I spoke to Nick Wiley of Kindler, an unsigned progressive rock band in North Carolina, to find out. Wiley says that having to go through a service like CD Baby isn’t so much of an issue as the tools Spotify offers signed artists. “I don’t really care about having to go through an aggregator,” he says. “I care about not having a bio and the other stuff because when you visit our profile on Spotify, I think it screams. ‘This artist isn’t famous.’” It appears that Tidal will offer the same tools and stats directly to all artists, though — not just the famous ones.

Another feature that’s aimed at helping independent artists is Tidal Rising. That collection of unknown acts highlights new music on the regular, serving as a discovery tool for subscribers and another channel for the smaller acts to get some promotion. Tidal Rising is already live on both mobile and desktop apps.

Filed under: Internet, Software

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Via: Fact Magazine

Source: Smashd

23
Apr

Tidal Discovery will allow independent artists to upload directly


While Tidal didn’t have too much to say about independent artists during its relaunch a couple weeks ago, the company is lending a hand now. In an interview with Smashd, Tidal’s Chief Information Officer Vania Schlogel discussed the upcoming Discovery feature for the service — the ability for indie acts to upload music directly. Why is this a big deal? Well, for the likes of Spotify, those musicians have to go through a third-party service like CD Baby or TuneCore to get their music in the apps. Since record labels typically handle licensing deals with subscription services, if you’re unsigned, you have to find another middleman. What’s more, all artists will have access to Tidal’s dashboard, where they can see exactly who’s listening to their music and get contact info for each person. That’s how Jay Z and Jack White were able to offer those thank-you calls last week.

“When it comes to the distribution of music, I want to get to a point where there are no blockades for artists in order to be able to easily do that for themselves,” Schlogel explained. “The end game being that we want everyone to be able to self-upload their own music and then track it very intuitively through this artist dashboard.”

“We want everyone to be able to self-upload their own music .”

The Discovery feature is rolling out slowly, being made available for more folks over time. Exactly how will this impact those indie artists? I spoke to Nick Wiley of Kindler, an unsigned progressive rock band in North Carolina, to find out. Wiley says that having to go through a service like CD Baby isn’t so much of an issue as the tools Spotify offers signed artists. “I don’t really care about having to go through an aggregator,” he says. “I care about not having a bio and the other stuff because when you visit our profile on Spotify, I think it screams. ‘This artist isn’t famous.’” It appears that Tidal will offer the same tools and stats directly to all artists, though — not just the famous ones.

Another feature that’s aimed at helping independent artists is Tidal Rising. That collection of unknown acts highlights new music on the regular, serving as a discovery tool for subscribers and another channel for the smaller acts to get some promotion. Tidal Rising is already live on both mobile and desktop apps.

Filed under: Internet, Software

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Via: Fact Magazine

Source: Smashd

22
Apr

Researchers find another terrifying iOS flaw


Boy shouting at smart phone

It can’t have escaped your attention that security experts have declared open season on Apple products over the last few weeks. At San Francisco’s RSA conference, an even more terrifying exploit has been revealed that has the power to send your iPhone or iPad into a perpetual restart loop. Mobile security firm Skycure has discovered that iOS 8 has an innate vulnerability to SSL certificates that, when combined with another WiFi exploit, gives malicious types the ability to create “no iOS zones” that can render your smartphones and tablets unusable. Before you read on, grab a roll of tinfoil and start making a new case for your iPhone.

Broadly speaking, any app that uses SSL certificates – which is almost all of them – can be fed a dummy certificate that causes it to crash. If, however, you can feed that same dodgy data into the operating system itself, then the hardware will be thrown into a perpetual loop of failed restarts. That can be easily achieved if you can set up a WiFi network to behave like one of the trusted setups that iOS automatically tries to connect to. So, as Gizmodo says, all it takes is for someone to build a nefarious network, name it “attwifi” and they’ve got a honeytrap.

Skycure has already reported its findings to Apple and won’t give away any more details should it give hackers free reign to brick thousands of devices. Until the problem is fixed, users are advised not to trust free WiFi networks, keep iOS updated and, should they wander into a “no iOS zone,” get out, quickly.

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Via: The Register, Gizmodo

Source: Skycure

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