Category Archives: Apps

BlackBerry confirms BBM app for Android and iPhone – but rivals await

Move to make messaging app available on rival platforms will lead to clash with WhatsApp, Viber and other ‘over the top’ apps

Blackberry Messenger

BlackBerry Messenger: coming soon to iPhone and Android devices. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images

 

BlackBerry is making its Messenger (BBM) real-time messaging service available on Apple’s iPhone and iPad and Google’s Android platforms from summer, abandoning the platform exclusivity that had for years been a crucial tool in attracting and retaining users.

Announcing the move at the company’s developer conference, software vice president Andrew Bocking said: “the time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service. BBM has always been one of the most engaging services for BlackBerry customers, enabling them to easily connect while maintaining a valued level of personal privacy. We’re excited to offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community.”

Chief executive Thorsten Heins called the move “a statement of confidence”. BlackBerry says that BBM has more than 60 million monthly active users, with more than 51 million using BBM for an average of 90 minutes per day. Its customers collectively send and receive more than 10bn messages daily, with almost half read within 20 second of being received, it said.

The free app will be available once approved for Apple’s iOS 6 software released last year and devices running Android 4.0 or higher, released in late 2011.

BBM was once seen as an iconic messaging system which drew both teenagers and business people onto the BlackBerry platform because messages could only be swapped between its own handsets. But with its installed base of users falling, the company has had to look for ways to generate revenues from its software expertise.

The move pitches BBM into a fight with other cross-platform data-reliantapps – known as “over the top” services – such as WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber. On Apple’s iOS, it will put it up against the company’s own iMessage app – though that does not work across different platforms.

But BBM is now one of the smallest cross-platform apps, with WhatsApp claiming more than 200 million active users, and WeChat around 190 million.

In the planned initial release, iOS and Android users would be able to experience the immediacy of BBM chats, including multi-person chats, as well as the ability to share photos and voice notes, and engage in BBM Groups, which allows BBM customers to create groups of up to 30 people.

BlackBerry says BBM provides customers with a high level of control and privacy over who they add to their contact list and how they engage with them, as invites are two-way opt-in. iOS and Android users would be able to add their contacts through PIN, email, SMS or QR code scan, regardless of platform. Android users would also be able to connect using a compatible NFC-capable device.

Switched On: On iOS, Now is Google’s time

DNP Switched On On iOS, Now is Google's Time

Credit: Engadget

 

In the early days of the internet economy, the saying went that webpages were created on Macs, served on Unix and viewed on Windows. In the iOS app economy, it’s often the case that apps run on devices by Apple, but connect to services by Google. With the exception of many games, at this point, apps increasingly strive to be internet services.

Google has been investing in more of these services for a longer time and in a way more directly tied to apps than Apple has. Google Maps has been the best example, but others include Google Drive (with its editing features), Google Voice and Google+. In contrast, Apple’s biggest consumer online service success (other than the iTunes store) has been iCloud, which is less app-like and more of a silent shuttle for documents and files among iOS devices.

The latest Google app to come to iOS is the newest version of one of the search giant’s oldest ones: Google Search, now noteworthy for including the Google Nowfeature set that has become an indirect competitor to Siri. Both interaction models have value. But whereas Siri is about having a conversation, Google Now is about avoiding one. It can do this because, unlike Siri, it is tied into a matrix of information about you through other cloud-connected Google services. Google Now is the proactive payoff for using them. In contrast, Siri requires you to manually specify your name and indicate your address.

DNP Switched On On iOS, Now is Google's Time

In addition to Google’s heritage being web-based (some of its early rationale for Android was to ensure that it wouldn’t be locked out of Microsoft’s then-ascending position in the smartphone space), it now has its own Chrome OS that is little more than a window into optimized web applications.

Much has changed between Apple and Google since the stalemate around Google Voice, an app that, at least in theory, could have done so much towards winning Google’s allegiance on the mobile phone. Apple has virtually abandoned the prohibition against replicating the functionality of its own apps and Google hasn’t delivered any major new functionality to Voice in years, instead turning its messaging attention to the social focus of Google+ and its integrated Hangout video chats.

One Apple policy that has affected Google apps on iOS has been the prohibition against alternate rendering engines in other browsers on the platform combined with not being able to use Apple’s “Nitro” JavaScript engine. However, the speed hit that followed hasn’t stopped Chrome from becoming one of the most popular apps for the iPhone and iPad.

Google’s support for iOS is, on one hand, a simple way to reach out to a significant share of the smartphone market.

Google’s support for iOS is, on one hand, a simple way to reach out to a significant share of the smartphone market. The company’s line is that it would be open to, for example, supporting Windows Phone were the installed base high enough. However, iPhone users are desirable to Google — not only to try to get them into Google’s rival ecosystem, but to provide a broader target audience, particularly for Google’s premium advertisers.

That said, Google apps on the iPhone are developing their own visual style with fonts and gestures that look and act more like a modern Android app than most iPhone apps — helping to expose and acclimate iPhone users to Google’s aspirational app interface. That situation is reminiscent of when Microsoft’s Mac apps had a particularly Windows-like look and feel during the days when dark gray toolbars and status bars ran amok in Office. There was an eventual backlash that forced a reversal, but Google’s services extend far deeper into our lives than Office likely ever will.

The next chapter of Google’s love affair with Apple users will play out in devices that extend beyond the smartphone. Will there be a Glass app for the iPhone? Would Google Now cards pop up onto an Apple watch? For now, anyway, the detente between the two rivals is allowing rich functionality for those with divided loyalties.

 

BlackBerry 7.0 Users: Update your Software to BlackBerry 7.1 OS and Download Select Premium Apps for Free

thnx for this information.

Inside BlackBerry

BlackBerry 7.1 App Promo

If you are a BlackBerry 7.0 customer and you haven’t already updated your software to BlackBerry 7.1 OS, now is definitely a good time to do so. For a limited time, when you update from BlackBerry 7.0 to BlackBerry 7.1 OS, you’ll get access to download select premium apps for free*.

On top of that, you’ll find new built-in features in BlackBerry 7.1 that are not in BlackBerry 7.0 OS including: Mobile Hotspot, FM radio, BlackBerry Tag and WiFi calling**.

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Angry Birds Friends now available on Android and iOS

Angry Birds Friends, the latest addition to the popular game series is now available on Android and iOS devices.

Angry Birds Friends already has about 60 million players on the Facebook platform and the availability of the mobile version allows you to challenge your social networking friends for the titles of ultimate pig popper and bird flinger. Moreover, you can brag, send gifts and use special power-ups, one of which will be exclusive to Angry Birds on mobile.

The newest version also brings the weekly tournaments with new levels every week. The game offers you daily rewards and your progress is automatically synchronized with your game on Facebook.

Angry Birds Friends for Android or iOS can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and App Store respectively.

Angry Birds re-launched on Windows Phone, gets 100 new levels and is free till May 15

Rovio Entertainment today re-launched Angry Birds on Windows Phone with 100 new levels, Xbox Live Achievement and Leaderboards and has also tweaked the game so it can work on entry-level Windows Phones with 256MB of RAM. The game developer also announced it will be offered for free till May 15.

Rovio says that the reason to launch a separate version instead of just updating the original game is because it is technically easier for the company to support the game in the future. Rovio also adds that downloading the newer version won’t affect one’s progress in the original game and you can directly start off from the last completed level.

You can head over to the Windows Phone Store to download Angry Birds for free.

Samsung to block its app store in Iran starting May 22

SAMSUNG-mobile_logo.jpg

Iranian users of Samsung mobile applications said Thursday that the company had notified them that they will no longer have access to the company’s online store as of May 22.

The move is seen as part of international sanctions on the country over its disputed nuclear program. The West has imposed banking and insurance sanctions on Iran since it suspects Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

At a Tehran shopping mall, owners of mobile phones and tablets said Thursday that they had received the message via email from the company late the night before. Retailers said they had no power over the decision.

“We have heard about it, but we are only responsible for hardware here, not software and apps,” shopkeeper Bijan Ashtiani said.

In the message, Samsung said that it cannot provide access to the store, known as Samsung Apps, in Iran because of “legal barriers.” It apologized to customers in emailed statement seen by the Associated Press on Thursday.

Samsung’s offices in Tehran could not be immediately reached for comment due to the weekend there, and its headquarters in South Korea did not immediately respond to a request.

The decision quickly provoked ire on social media.

“Samsung is to stop its apps in Iran, oh how we appreciate our officials,” wrote Bahareh, a Twitter user blaming Tehran’s policy. Another, named Armin, pointed at the technology giant itself, saying “Now, Samsung’s sanctions honor us as well!”

Samsung spokesman Chris Jung in Seoul said the company is still looking into the matter and could not confirm any details.

Unlike Apple, Microsoft and Adobe, Samsung has provided localized services to Iranians in their native Persian language. In 2012, Finish communications giant Nokia stopped its services in the country.

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