Google Maps App Launch sees iOS6 Adoption surge by a whopping 29 percent in a week

December 19, 2012 by sameer | No Comments | Filed in Apps, Productivity

If Apple wondered about how bad its own version of the Maps on iOS6 was, then this little news nugget should put any such lingering doubts to rest. It was pretty bad and that was to a point where a substantial number of users simply refused to update and switch over to the new iOS6 simply because they did not wish to lose the services of Google Maps. That though would have been a claim easy to refute for Apple before the launch of Google Maps App for iOS6. But post  the Apps launch, it not only immediately hit the top slot in the apps tore charts, but also ensured that the iOS6 adoption rate surged by as much as nearly 30 percent within the span of a week!

Data from trusted sources and the latest reports suggest that there was a clear 29 percent increase in the adoption of iOS6 post the 12th of this month and that can be no coincidence as it is the day Apple approved the Google Maps App and allowed it into the App Store. While this might be bad advertising for Apple Maps, it necessarily is not a bad thing for Apple itself. The new surge means more users are on the same platform and hence there is a better chance of development and improvements as well.

It is also good news for developers as it pretty much decreases fragmentation and more people might be now willing to buy the iPhone 5 without any qualms as it comes preloaded with the iOS6. The end users will surely not be complaining and this once again simply shows two very basic aspects of product and app advertising. One is that quality sells and two, the best way to spread the word is in a traditional fashion- from person to person.

While stats show that people waited for the weekend for the lengthy OS update, it is clear that Apple needs to throw all its weight behind a top notch Maps App if it wishes to do away with Google Maps in the future.

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WhatsApp Windows Phone 8 version is On

December 19, 2012 by sanjo | No Comments | Filed in Apps

We guess you probably have heard of WhatsApp. This popular messaging app which is available for various mobile platforms like Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Symbian based devices has appreciable number of followers all around the globe. Sadly WhatsApp missed the Windows Phone 8 platform on its launch, and was pretty disappointing for the owners bearing mobile devices running on that OS.

Now, what we heard from Nokia is that they have joined hands with WhatsApp and patched up with a version optimized for the WP8 and is now ready for download. You can use the app free for the first twelve months and then it will charge you $0.99 per year.

It seems like the version will work on other WP8 devices like HTC 8X.

While CrackBerry.com contacted the WhatsApp about any version developing for the upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS, they said they don’t have any plans right now and a “sorry”.

Installing WhatsApp on your mobile will let you message your friends with its push notification feature. The app also supports images, audio files, videos messages, notes and exchange messages. According to the developers, the new version of this app would perform six times faster than its previous version.

What do you say people, a valuable addition to Windows Phone 8 ecosystem?

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Yog iPhone App Lets You Jog With Any One in the World

December 19, 2012 by sanjo | No Comments | Filed in Entertainment

Jogging, for sure, has great health benefits. Getting your day started with a running habit will definitely fill you with charisma for the entire day. Although mobile devices have tended to reduce our physical efforts, the app world has filled in with lots of exercise apps for our fat burning process. Latest on the menu is Yog for the iPhone.

Yog’s idea is to bring all joggers around the world to get a social jogging experience. It that’s some of us hate to run alone, while some others prefer a lonely walk. Whatever is you wish, Yog will help you out with its wit.

So how do things work on Yog?  First of all it’s free; you can download it via iTunes. Once you have done that, you will become a Yogger and will be added to the in-app contact list. After that, get started with either scheduling a run or by entering the “Run now” option.

Scheduling will let you set the date, distance and time for your digital run. You can invite your friends around the world to take part in your run via SMS or social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Tapping Run Now will let you to participate in many of races conducted by other Yoggers at that particular time. When a race starts, the app will track the Yoggers running details with iPhone’s GPS system and will display the results in real time.

The app also gives you audio notifications while on the run. Since the results are real time you can keep up with the pace for a fair competition.

If you are looking for some practice before taking part in a run you can switch on the Practice Runs option. In that mode, you can track your distance and time data of your jog. For now, the app is limited to trace data on 20 runners per route. May be we can see further updates that would expand the functionality.

So who’s with us for a walk?

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Camera+ iOS App Update Adds High Image Quality Option

December 18, 2012 by sanjo | No Comments | Filed in Entertainment

Photography apps are like adding an extra lens to your mobile device. In this context we like to talk about developer tap tap tap’s Camera+ for the iOS platform as it got its latest update on its image quality option.

The version 3.7 update has beefed up its picture quality setting with a new “High” option, thus making the previously known “Full” option to “Normal”. Snapping in High setting will of course make some big sized image files, but if you are looking to obtain pixel perfection you have to compromise for some storage space.

The update has also scaled up the front flash feature that is best suited for portrait and macro clicks and added some improvements on image importing feature which they say “better handling with atypical image formats”. The update works on both the iPad and iPhone versions.

If you are still using in-built camera app on your iOS device, we truly recommend Camera+. Its way better with the image output coupled with dozens of finely tuned capturing features and a pretty good editing suit.

Simple touch-based adjust functionality on focus and exposure settings, LED flash control and 6 x digital zoom capability  are some of the notable highlights of Camera+.

A bunch of scene modes on the app will help you capture your favorite shots in varied situations. We often find modes like Night, Beach, Sunset, and Portrait very useful in certain moments.

On the Editing side, the app packs tons of visual effects, cropping and broader options.    Finally the sharing option let to take your memorable pics to your friends via Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. Pick Camera+ for $0.99 at iTunes.

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Call Conferences on Android and iOS Easily Done with UberConference

December 18, 2012 by sanjo | No Comments | Filed in Communication

Amid our webbed up life, mobile devices are becoming more and more indispensable and these portable machines have begun getting into sectors unheard of. A majority of us rely on smartphones as a solution for our basic needs. For business people, their devices have an integral role in dealing with their busy work schedules, and most importantly these sections of people are the one who makes conference calls more often.

Web world has provided us with lots of conference calling windows, and with them some of the applications have alleviated the hassles of the traditional conferencing with heavily streamlined functionality.

UberConference is one such entity. This web-based application is the brainchild of Craig Walker, the CEO of Firespotter Labs. He is a veteran in Voice over IP sphere and is also the founder of GrandCentral which later came to be as the Google Voice.

Reaching out into the mobile space, UberConference has launched Android and iOS version preserving most of the features that we saw in the web application. App initiation is very simple, tap and select your desired ones from the contact list to invite to the conference and click start, that’s it!

The app will deal with the rest of formalities. It will automatically call the contacts from your selection. The dashboard of the app put many in-call functions like we can mute a caller, hangup if we want or even block during the call session.

The interface will give the whole list of persons in the conference and we can grab their detailed information as the app has the linking feature with social network sites like Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn.

Above all this, you can record the call and stop at anytime you want and even more, the app will send you an email attached with the summary of the call.  The free app is live on iTunes and Google Play.

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Find Best Deals with Shopular for Android and iOS

December 17, 2012 by sanjo | No Comments | Filed in Shopping

Dealing with deals, especially during the holiday is season, is a bit hectic. Even though we do our home work on making a list of our favorite brands, deals and right choice of stores/malls, we often end up realizing the fact that we have missed out on a lot of offers , and even more frustrating after we have left some coupons back home.

Now that we know there is an app for everything, the app world  has brought up couponing apps as an ultimate solution for our shopping needs.

Some of the apps in this category work on geofencing technology for alerting users while they reach at particular vicinity of the store. Others like Shopkick have their own technology that syncs with sensors on the shop to get them noticed on the discounts and offers.

Shopular is one such app, but a bit more advanced in grabbing deals to us. Former Shopkick engineers Navneet Loiwal and Tommy Tsai build up the idea of Shopular.

Liowal says that we are missing out tons of our savings in shopping, so with their app we don’t even need to bother even switching on the app every time when we go to our stores.

Unlike other apps Shopular runs on background based on GPS, WiFi and cellular sensors to pop up the deals and coupons. All you need to do is to show your digital coupon to the billing section to claim it.

For getting more personalized sorting on deals the app utilizes Facebook Connect to get your likes and you can also setting your interest for more customized result. What the app does is that it crawls through brands’ websites, Facebook pages and email offers to get the news on deals.

For now, the app only supports 1000 malls across the country, with coupons from over 100 well known brand outlets.

Take it for free on iTunes and Google Play.

 

AroundMe iOS Update Adds An Extra Hand to Travelers

December 17, 2012 by sanjo | No Comments | Filed in Apps, Entertainment

Navigational and location-based search apps weren’t too much till 2008. In fact, until Marco Pifferi and five others came up with AroundMe app at that time, we haven’t had much of an option when it came to local establishment search apps for mobile devices. Also, it was some time after the release of AroundMe that Google brought up Places app with a similar idea.

A couple of months ago, they surpassed 6 million unique visitors and more than 1 million download per month for the app.  That’s something they can brag about.

If you are wondering what AroundMe is all about and it’s surrounding fuzz? We would like you to download to your Android or iOS device because, first of all it’s free and most importantly its user friendly.

If you are having wanderlust or simply got out of town to some new places, the app will definitely be your side kick. Based on your current location, you can find your desired point of interest through this app. Whether its hotels, ATMs, gas stations, shopping centers, pharmacies, and like, you will get the location, address and contact number for the specific spot.

It’s not like Yelp or Foursquare where you can get more extensive and additional information like review, closing and open time, ratings, user locators , online bookings and similar stuff, AroundMe is only gives you substantial guide with necessary information.

The app’s database is linked with you navigation app, Places or Apple Maps to feed you with the location display.

The interface is neat and native and with every update they are getting it to a more robust form. Some of the notable updates include improved hotel details, gas station price details, restaurant reservation and lot more. Also they added support for Navigon, TomTom, Motion X Drive and Waze navigation software.

The latest update added hotel booking for the iPad version and now has iOS 6 and iPhone 5 screen compatibility.  Free version will have ads, well that’s how they earn their money.

But if find that bothering enough, it won’t be anyway, you can jump to the ad-free version for $ 2.99.

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Apple Users can once again Gift an App from the App Store this Festive Season

December 14, 2012 by sameer | No Comments | Filed in News

It is the holiday season and with Christmas and New Year pretty much just around the corner, the shopping frenzy is well and truly on. No wonder then that every retailer and firm is trying hard to push their own product and add new and attractive features that will lure the shoppers. Apple obviously is not new to the game and while the launch of iOS6 has had a few glitches and a few of us have been less than pleased with the changes it has brought out, things seem to be getting back to normal now.

First we got the YouTube App for our iPad and iPhone 5, then there was the Gmail App and finally we got the Google maps we wanted back on our Apple devices. Well, Apple might not have had much to do with it (though, they did approve all of them pretty swiftly), but when it comes to gifting an app from the App Store, they surely have got it right on time. The feature that enabled you to simply gift paid apps from the App Store was a feature available on the iOS5 platform, but disappeared with the advent of its successor.

Apple have now corrected that and you can quickly and without hassles once again gift an app to any other Apple user for this holidays. This is definitely a cool addition and for techno-buffs, it offers a chance to gift something that is personal, thoughtful, practical and in tune with their taste. All you need to do is sign in with your Apple account, click on the ‘gift’ icon, enter your id and credit card number and then the Apple id of those you wish to gift it to.

You can schedule it to be delivered on a date of your choice. Now, there is a cool alternative for us lazy ones even if we forget to get a gift till the last second!

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Australian Police warn iPhone 5 users Down Under against the use of Apple Maps

December 14, 2012 by sameer | No Comments | Filed in News

 

Police Down Under in Australia have said in no uncertain terms that they suggest against the using of Apple Maps for navigation until the many errors discovered in their data are corrected. This comes as obviously no surprise to anyone who has switched over to iOS6 that has pretty much done away with Google Maps as Apple chose to launch their own version of maps after a falling out between the two corporate giants. The announcement came after the police in Victoria rescued six motorists who were stranded in the middle of a National Park after false directions on Google Maps led them there.

Police have confirmed that Apple Maps lead anyone looking for directions to Mildura, an inland city, to the middle of Murray Sunset National Park, which is more than 70Km away from the city. The biggest concern here is that the temperatures inside the park can reach a mark as high as 46 degrees during daytime and that obviously is a very scary situation for a lost motorist to be in. This comes as another embarrassment to Apple as its Maps have already come under severe criticism from all quarters.

Of course, the good news is the launch of Google Maps app for iOS6, which happened only yesterday and switching over to the free and reliable maps from Google is the best solution at this point. The app is already topping the App Store charts and while Apple might feel gutted at the moment, knowing the company one can rest assured that future versions of Apple Maps will be a lot more capable. It just needs more work and a major revamp!

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Xfinity TV Player App Lets You Download Media Content on your Mobile

December 14, 2012 by sanjo | No Comments | Filed in Entertainment, X

Comcast’s Xfinity TV remote app truly served its purpose of “controlling entertainment from our palm”. The app installed mobile devices turned out to be better replacements to the Xfinity TV remote. But other than the extensive remote functions, the app doesn’t provide for any entertainment content on your compatible tablets and smartphones.

Realizing that demand, Comcast has announced the Xfinity TV Player App that will give you the key to stream and download entertainment content from the network to your mobile devices.

Enabling the app on your Android or iOS mobile devices will allow you enjoy tons of content from premium TVs and movies and that include shows from premium subscription channels like Showtime, Starz, Encore and Movieplex.

If you have subscribed to any of the channels, you can grab it on to your device so that you can watch them whenever you want. So, that means even if there is no connectivity you can have your juice offline from your download library.

Charlie Herrin, Senior Vice President of Product Design and Development at Comcast Cable says that there are millions of smartphone and tablet users in the United States. Keeping that in mind, Comcast has always been bringing in latest innovations to the TV sphere to make customers the supreme controllers of entertainment options.

With Xfinity TV Player addition, it will bring in more flexibility to entertainment even if you don’t have internet connectivity, he added.

So people, whatever the show is, Showtime’s Homeland and Dexter or Starz’s Magic City and Spartacus, you can choose now.

Above all these, Comcast is planning to expand their content lore with more programming partners in the near future.

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Square Enix Releases Theatrhythm Final Fantasy for iOS

December 14, 2012 by sanjo | No Comments | Filed in Entertainment

What Square Enix did to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Final Fantasy franchise was to release a music game called Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, literally the first of the kind in the series, to the Nintendo 3DS handheld console. On hearing this, a lot of reviewers raised their eye brows to find a rhythm based game on the RPG majored franchise. But when it came out, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy threw off the iffy impression and become an adorable one with decent scores in various game review sites.

Enriching the presence, Square Enix has now brought the game to iOS platform and you know what it looks fine and plays fine. This game is absolutely for the Final Fantasy fans, as the franchise is well known for its soundtracks.

Theatrhythm is like a souvenir linking some memorable music and Final Fantasy moments in the touchscreen based gameplay.

Like similar music-based games, this one too needs us to tap or drag or hold on highlighted spots for the progression. You will find that the manner in which the patterns appear is knitted with the soundtracks in the game.

Basically there are three stages you need to cover on every level – field, battle and event. Field music will put you in a side scrolling game where you need to do the touchscreen timed controls to reach the character to the end of the stage.

Battle music is just like the turn based battle mode featured in the series. But instead of pushing attack moves all you need to do is to make the tapping of notes in the right time. Meanwhile, Event music plays scenes featuring from various Final Fantasy games in the background while you tap the patterns.

The iOS version of the game can be downloaded for free from the App Store. But the free version only has two soundtracks. So if you need additional sound tracks, you can buy the song pack (four songs) for $2.99. If you are looking for a single song you can have it for $0.99.

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