With the new Google Play application, users can listen to millions of songs already in the Google Play’s library as well as upload up to 20,000 songs of their own to access anywhere! The music is streamed to give the user the capability to listen anywhere. It is such a large library that it is at war with the other music streaming applications.
The Federal Communications Commission has released an app in hopes that it will generate accurate comparisons of wireless carriers mobile speeds. The app called Speed Test App for Android will collect information, such as upload and download speeds, latency, and signal strength to allow the FCC to publish a map of this information in the next year. This map is expected to help consumers decide which services to go with and see if consumers are getting what they may be paying for. This creates an incentive for carries to improve their data services.
This is a fascinating step towards transparency in understanding current data speeds and what the average consumer is receiving currently. The data gathered will be interesting for multiple reasons, for designers designing applications to understand what sort of connection their target audience may have, consumers wishing to purchase plans, and providers to know what speeds their competitors may have. I only fear that much like internet speeds, this will mean that certain areas will not be developed as quickly as others, leading to large pockets that only have a slower connection, much like towns and areas that have no other option aside from dial-up, due to the inability or lack of desire for a provider to bring anything else in.
Mapquest, previously one of the previous leaders of online mapping, is attempting to recapture users with their new mobile app. The brand still continues, but is barely a shadow of it’s former self. The new app has a much cleaner and pleasing UI. Sadly, there are errors with regards to finding and searching business profiles. Interestingly, they’ve chosen to go the route of paid to remove advertisements.
This is interesting as it marks an attempt by an older former service to recapture users via offering a new improved app. While this shows the possibility of these sorts of tactics to work, sometimes it might be necessary to understand that one’s services may have too much stiff competition. While an interesting attempt, it may lead only to failure.
This article talks about farmers using technology to efficiently manage and harvest their crops year after year. The technology provides farmers with information they can use to determine the best farming methods, right times of the year, and other factors that play an important role in successfully producing crop. Recently, an agronomist from the University of Vermont Extension developed an application that digitizes information that used to be kept in notebooks and stores it in the “cloud”, where it can be shared with fellow farmers and can’t blow out of a pickup or tractor and get lost. Application development is all about making processes simpler and cutting out unnecessary steps in performing a task and that is exactly what this app does for farmers that openly embrace new technology. To read more about this specific application and the uses of technology for agriculture in general, be sure to read the full article.
The many uses for smartphones are increasing day by day and the possibilities seem limitless. One of the next big capabilities smartphone makers and application developers are making use of are the coprocessor’s abilities to track data even while the user is not using their smartphone. This is something that has been around for a little while, but previously, it required the use of a Bluetooth connection and an application being open on the smartphone. Now, the smartphone can be completely idle with the display off and no applications open, yet still make use of this new responsive technology through the coprocessor in the smartphone. It collects sensor data from integrated accelerometers, gyroscopes, and compasses. This can be used to track information for users and implement the information into applications such as fitness trackers before the user opens the app for the first time. Making use of this technology is something application developers will definitely want to consider as it could completely blow the user away during their “out of the box experience”.
As we have all heard, Samsung and LG are releasing smartphones with curved displays in the near future. This article talks about the uses for curved displays and the advantages they bring to the world of mobile technology. Some of these advantages are making smartphones lighter and thinner, making them more comfortable to hold/use, and removing the glass that breaks easily and costs so much to repair. The marketability for these new curved devices is very high due to the fact that they are different than what everyone has seen before. The latest standards for smartphones are glass displays that are straight and flat. These curved designs completely shatter those expectations and provide users with something fresh and exciting. Smartphones are not the only devices that would benefit from this change and I believe we can expect many more similar designs in the future.
This article talks about how a company called Sensopia developed their application for iOS before developing it for Android. Even though the article talks specifically about an app called MagicPlan, the reasons for developing an app for iOS prior to developing it for Android still stand. One of the major challenges presented when developing for Android is the large amount of diversity when it comes to hardware of mobile devices. There are thousands of devices with different hardware that comprise the Android market. The ability to develop an application for iOS and test it extensively using devices with very similar hardware makes creating an application for Android much easier. This company spent years developing their application for iOS first. They released the app to see how well the intended audience would receive it and how useful it would be. The five million plus downloads of the application made it clear to the developers that it was successful. This sparked the development of the application for Android devices. When an app uses hardware to perform a certain action, it becomes very hard to develop the app for Android. By developing for iOS first, the company was able to find people that were willing to help the developers test the app on Android devices. The incentives for developing an app on iOS before developing for Android are numerous and this article highlights how one company used this to their advantage.
Amazon is rolling out an upgrade for their ‘Silk’ browser that will come on all new Kindle Fires. The browser will be tracking the online behavior of users in order to find sites that are getting an exorbitant amount of hits. Amazon believes that these sites will contain noteworthy information. In addition to the this news, ‘Silk’ will also be accompanied by better page load speeds and a more organized user interface.