Houzz, the popular online platform for home remodeling and design, is launching a completely redesigned iOS app for iPhone and iPad today. The new version features an updated look and feel in line with Apple’s iOS 7 design guidelines, but also improved navigation, support for AirDrop and an emphasis on full-screen photos. The app now features many of the new graphical effects iOS 7 introduced, for example, and makes use of dynamic type and the new, and relatively little utilized, AirDrop capability in the updated OS.
Digital scrapbook Ember from RealMac Software has made its way to iOS today! Now on mobile, the app allows you to access and manage your shared image collections between devices, as well as capture and save images you love, that inspire you, or anything else you want to keep sorted in a simply designed photo-sharing application. Ember isn’t necessarily designed for your personal photos, but the intention here is to offer a way to build organized collections around things you love, like great design ideas, inspiration for future vacation spots, mockups, and others things you want to remember.
It’s Nokia’s turn to fire a potshot at Apple and the iPad. Nokia whimsically attacks Apple’s hit tablet by going after the lack of keyboard and weak battery life, and touts its own Lumia 2520 as the “right tablet.”
Intel is the king of PCs, but it hasn’t always been ahead of evolving innovations. Its processors power more than 80 percent of the world’s computers and the vast majority of its servers, but Intel has made little headway in smartphones and tablets. The goal is getting sensory inputs that make computers more human like. Devices will be able to sense emotion and detect a person’s biometric data simply using a camera.
The new Potluck app is transforming itself into a hybrid messaging and news service, where people comment around topics they want to discuss. In this updated app, conversations are based around topics, not people. The content is different because it shares short summaries of news articles and other topics, designed to take no more than 20 seconds to read.
Hydrobee lets you charge a battery from a fast-flowing river to juice up USB devices off-grid. There’s two parts to Hydrobee. When wearing its ‘Stream Body’, the gizmo can be placed in a river or dragged behind a boat so long as the water is flowing faster than 1.8m/s (or 4mph+), and two to four hours later its battery will be fully charged. A smaller inner unit can also be attached directly to a flowing faucet to charge so it could be used as a back-up power generator for your phone during a power outage.
Toymail is a Wi-Fi connected toy that lets parents talk remotely to their kids via a smartphone app with their message spoken in the toy’s tone of voice. The idea is to inject a little cartoon fun into parent/child digital interactions, and give kids a chance to play with physical toys rather than being sucked into screens and phones so early. There’s a choice of five different Mailmen characters, which have been designed to look like a cross between a mailbox and an animal.
That Apple has crammed so much functionality in such a small package is a testament to its engineers. The iPad Air is barely bigger than the iPad mini, yet packs so much more inside. At less than a third of an inch thick and one pound in weight, this slate is what all other tablets wish to be. The iPad Air has a slightly bigger display (9.7in vs. 7.9in), so the small size penalty carries a big benefit.
Pebble unveiled the latest steps in its effort to take over your wrist. It has a new, more powerful developer kit, and it finally supports all of the notifications coming out of iOS. With its latest software updates, the device finally supports all iOS7 notifications, letting it work alongside apps like Google Maps, Uber, and Foursquare to keep owners informed while also staying out of the way. Pebble is also making a strong play for making its smartwatch rival dedicated fitness trackers, too.
Plain Vanilla Games is launching QuizUp, an iPhone title that it calls the “biggest trivia game in the world.” It makes that claim because it has created more than 100,000 trivia questions in 300 categories. In QuizUp, players can play trivia games individually or asynchronously against another player. Players can issue direct challenges to friends via Facebook connectivity or allow QuizUp to match them up with a similar opponent.
Music-focused social network SoundTracking released a new version of its smartphone app today. There’s a new design with features like larger photos and brighter colors, but the most interesting addition is probably a Discover section, which is basically a new take on finding music through Soundtracking. With the new section, you can find music in a way that’s not subject to the randomness of who you follow and when you checked your newsfeed.
Similar to Google-acquired Bump, Airlike uses an iPhone’s various sensors in combination with its own cloud-powered algorithms to let you share photos, videos and contacts with other iPhone users in close proximity, but with one key difference you flick content through the “air” from one phone to another. Shunning Bluetooth or WiFi for peer-to-peer networking, the app uses a combination of GPS, and each phone’s gyroscope, compass and accelerometer sensors, and relays that information to its own servers to know when two phones are pointing at each other.
As one of the most popular third-party clients available for Twitter, the Tweetbot 3 has become the poster child for what outside developers brought to the Twitter equation. And with the iOS 7 update, it’s going to set another sort of precedent by showing what you can do with a truly bones-deep re-thinking of an app with Apple’s new aesthetic in mind. The main timeline of Tweetbot 3 has a brand-new lighter look with a white background and crisp typography. The tweets obey Apple’s system-wide font-sizing controls under Dynamic Type Size if you want to fit more on the page.
Microsoft recently released its Windows 8.1 update to Windows 8 for free, has begun to bundle its Office set of products with Windows RT, and now sells Office as a service through its Office 365 product. The overlap between the two companies’,Microsoft and Apple, strategies and current product lineups both impact their short-term revenues, and long-term software and hardware margins. There is an increasing tension between the two companies’ largest computing platforms: Windows, iOS, and OS X. Given the spate of recent updates to those platforms, the transformation of Office, and Apple’s tossed productivity gauntlet, the software space that two firms are fighting to control is worth looking into.
Seattle-based Pirq, a digital loyalty and deals platform provider, is now moving away from the deal space entirely, the company says. In addition to deals, the startup had earlier been testing a digital loyalty program which includes smartphone apps that allow consumers to earn rewards at nearby businesses, and going forward, this will become Pirq’s sole focus. The loyalty platform was previously only available in the Seattle area and San Francisco, but as of this week, it’s opening up nationwide and is dropping to a more affordable price point of $14.95 per month.
HTC has partnered with Amazon on a handful of new products that could make their way to the e-tailer’s virtual shelves as soon as next year. If this works out, this could potentially be a big deal for the Taiwanese phone maker. Some say HTC isn’t capable of putting together top-notch hardware, plus HTC isn’t a well known brand like Apple or Samsung. However, an Amazon smartphone needs to have a hook to help bring customers on-board, and the company is in a better position than ever to do just that.
This new golf app that goes by the name of Fore will allow players to track scores, create live social tournaments, and earn rewards from local courses. It will use location-based services to display courses, holes, and scoring information. At the end of each hole, the golfer can turn a dial to record stroke totals with one motion. The app will display a leaderboard with your friends in real-time to show how other golfers in a network are performing. This app is hoping to launch out to the public by April 2014.
Cameo is a cloud video editing platform lets you turn those clips into two-minute long short films. Cameo is different from all the other video apps because it lets you keep a large library of video clips without eating up storage on your phone, and lets you render your short films without eating your battery life. Cameo has some unique features like being able to collaborate with up to three friends in real time.
There’s a new way of controlling your smartphone or tablet with simple touchless gestures. The touchless gesturing works via a dedicated ultrasound transmitter that continuously sends inaudible signals from your phone. The device, which is just 3mm square and can be hidden in a smartphone, is incredibly sensitive.
Facebook will look to capitalize on its new-found strength in mobile advertising by adding a sophisticated twist to an ad unit that has not only proved remarkably popularly with developers, but has also helped the company win over skeptics on Wall Street. The units will now enable app makers to separately target their existing users in Facebook’s mobile News Feed. The goal is to help app makers develop a long-term relationship with users so they can nudge audiences through Facebook when they have something important to share.
OpenKit, the open-source platform for adding social features to mobile games, has gone live, with 10 developers using it in their mobile games on iOS and Android. OpenKit will be an open-source effort for its basic app services for social games. Openkit was developed at the end of 2012, and the first features included a leaderboard, universal authentication, social challenges, social achievements, and asynchronous social multiplayer.
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Don’t you hate not being able to listen to your music or closing your laptop when taking off on a airplane? The Federal Aviation Administration advisory committee said that personal electronic devices, like smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, shouldn’t have to be turned off during flights. Ever since the FAA created its advisory committee last year, reports have leaked that the committee was leaning toward allowing devices to be left on during takeoff and landing.
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Sony has confirmed that a new Android 4.2 firmware update for the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR and Xperia Tablet Z is coming! Some bug fixes expected to be implemented with the new update. However, there is no word about regions which will receive the update first.
Yahoo has introduced the ability to save content for later! Also, Yahoo has added a breaking news category that allows users to keep following a story as it updates. The new design gives the app a clearer picture, and allows users to switch categories much faster.
The Z3000 series is based on a redesigned Atom processor that promises better performance than the pokey chips that powered Windows 7 Netbooks of the past. This brings HD graphics and has faster memory which ranges up to 17 gigabytes per second.
Nokia’s Chairmain Risto Siilasmaa says the company’s future will be shaped by three businesses. First, Siilasmmaa stated “Nokia will continue to launch uniquely innovative solutions such as the Liquid Applications.” Second, Nokia offers real-time traffic reports, maps, and other cloud-based benefits to drivers of Internet-connected cars. Lastly, Nokia will focus on beefing up it’s patent portfolio.
London, England is hosting a 4 day app developer programming fest. About 10, ooo software developers from all over Europe will be there, and this is one of the biggest camping groups in Europe.
Check out the new ways on how a mobile startup is created!