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While iTunes has done a lot to help stimulate legal music downloads in a market which has wavered between open piracy and privacy rights, it is only one of many similar services. The store now boasts a full library of decent quality AAC music encoded at 256 kilobits per second — a number which should please most cardinal-craving audiophiles –, a decent feature list, and an expanding market. But, opportunities exist across the globe for competitors to capitalise on Apple’s omissions; namely, encoding quality, features, price, and last but not least: community music services. Google are working on a service of their own which may take advantage of Apple’s ignorance of community music scenes such as LastFM, and now, the MySpace acquisition: iLike.
Believe it or not, Google are pushing their own agenda; an agenda that speaks of the strength of the web as the best content distribution system. A strength that will usurp the current juggernaut, Apple’s App Store. It would be a misstep if Google, the undisputed leader on the internet, did not support what is largely, its playground.
Google’s Android platform, open source and relatively new, is a force to be reckoned with. So is the iPhone and its App Store juggernaut. Both are based on *NIX operating systems that have desktop niches and conceivably could be ported to just about any hardware with a CPU (and conceivably, even the iPhone). Philosophically of course, they are very different. MacOS X’ roots are open source with the project called Darwin, but Apple are often about as community friendly as the RIAA. Google, ever the stealth operator, expand even into our streets without so much as a hissyfit (unless you live in the UK).
This year has been extremely fruitful for new operating systems targeted at mobile devices. And now, surprise surprise, Samsung, one of THE largest electronics manufacturer in the world and number two mobile phone manufacturer in the world, have issued a press release about Bada – their new mobile OS.
Have you ever wished that while travelling abroad, you could keep your own phone number AND not have to pay those exorbitantly high roaming rates? Well thanks a Latvian based company who also brought us VIR2SIM, their recently released Roamer app will let you do just that – keep your number while saving a bundle when overseas. Basically, you’ll need an unlocked iPhone/Android phone and a local SIM card from the city you’ll be travelling to. Then after activating the new SIM with the Roamer app, whenever calls are made to your home number, they’ll be re-routed to your new local number. According to Roamer, you can save up to 96% on those pesky roaming rates. For example, if you’re traveling to the UK, €10 credits is good for 250 minutes of incoming calls (€0.04/min). Outgoing calls are slightly more expensive (depending on destination), but the catch here – and this only applies to outgoing calls – is that they require an internet connection, be it via a data plan or WIFI.
By Summer Delaney, Grovo Guest Blogger
It’s no secret that photo apps and platforms are the next big social media movement. With Facebook’s acquiring of Instagram last month for $1 billion, more and more photo services are continuing to be developed to meet the demanding needs of new consumers ranging from all ages, demographics and occupations. Here are six applications that can be useful to anyone regardless of profession or hobbies that can either be used with existing apps like Instagram or independently.
To celebrate over 300 million copies on Android and iOS Devices, Polaris Office has dropped in price from $19.99 to $3.99 for iOS (though it’s been on sale at $12.99). A solid office suite that’s improved over various updates (the latest adding iPhone 5 support), Polaris lets you view and edit Microsoft Office documents like Word, Excel and Powerpoint on the iPhone and iPad. The main cloud storage services – Dropbox, Google Drive and Box.net – are also supported, so you can access your files just about anywhere. The price drop is good for 3 days, until March 7th, so you still have plenty of time to pick up this universal app up at a steep discount.
Infinite Dreams’ Let’s create! Pottery HD (makers of iQuarium and Jelly Defense) has already been downloaded 5 million times and is widely considered one of the more unique experiences on the App Store. Not only can you create virtual pottery, but now thanks to a partnership with Sculpteo and their innovative 3D printing technology, users can finally turn their works of art into real objects.
Madfinger’s hit zombie shooter DEAD TRIGGER has already reached 14 million downloads, and the dev team has taken the opportunity at NVIDIA’s CES 2013 press conference to announc DEAD TRIGGER 2. It was demoed on NVIDIA’s Project SHIELD – a 360-like controller with it’s own flip up 5″ 720p display, running on a Tegra 4 chip – and it’s once again powered by the Unity game engine. According to Marek Rabas, CEO of Madfinger, DT2 is going to be even bigger, better and much more addictive”. Not a whole lot has been revealed at this point, but it’s probably safe to say that there’ll be even more zombies and the undead to kill and the visuals will be top notch. As for the release date, expect it to see the light of day in the second quarter of 2013 on both Android and iOS devices. Check out some gameplay footage after the break.
There are quite a few excellent apps that’ll turn your iPhone into a wireless mouse for your Mac/PC (Mobile Mouse being one of them), but one company is looking to drastically improve upon the experience with a tiny peripheral called the Mauz. Combined with a dedicated app, the Mauz (the first of its kind in the ‘appcessory’ world) essentially will turn your iPhone into a motion and visual gesture controlled wireless mouse.