Skype has just announced that they have purchased the company GroupMe, the creators behind a group messaging application of the same name that is currently available on many smartphone platforms.
The purchase will give Skype direct access to the group messaging software produced by GroupMe. Skype has been recently been purchased by Microsoft and this latest acquistion could allow for even deeper Skype integration on Windows devices in the future.
GroupMe is currently offered on iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices. Because this application can be used cross-platform, it is different than similar apps such as BlackBerry Messenger.
The group messaging application can be used over a data connection so devices such as the iPod Touch can get in on the fun. Anybody using GroupMe can share pictures within any conversation. We don’t really know what Skype’s plans for this app are, but if you want to check it out for yourself it can be had for the price of free. Tell us what you think of this latest acquisition in the comments below.
We recently reported that Samsung was going to have its next Unpacked event at Berlin’s IFA show on September 1st. Thanks to the Korean based manufacturer’s free app, you can feel like you’re in Germany watching the festivities. A free app available in the Android Market offers an event schedule, maps for those actually in Berlin, and streaming coverage of the event as it happens (following a September 1st update to the app). A dedicated YouTube button takes you directly to Samsung’s recent videos for products like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The Samsung Mobile Unpacked app is free for those wielding devices running Android 2.1 or higher. The app will also be available in the Samsung Apps Store.
Now it seems that Samsung has put the update on hold for the time being, saying it needs to ensure a positive customer experience, which is corporatese for “we need to pull it in and squash some bugs”. People at XDA-Devs have been complaining about graphics issues after the update, so that might be it.
The company didn’t announce that officially, but it answered a question on Twitter that the Touchwiz UX update for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been paused for now to “assess progress”. While you wait for the semi-mandatory update to reach your tablet, have a look at our hands-on video of Samsung’s Honeycomb overlay below.
Steve Kondik, the guy behind the famous CyanogenMod Android ROMs, has become a Samsung Mobile Software Engineer, but he said that he plans to keep his hobby, and review coding for future iterations of the immensely popular CyanogenMod 7.
Samsung was the first to break the manufacturer/carrier mould by sending the CyanogenMod crew brand new spanking Galaxy S II handsets, encouraging them to show what they are capable of doing by creating custom ROMs for the handset. Now obviously it decided to straight out drink from the source, and hired Steve Kondik.
The software engineer has a proven track record of making awesome modifications to stock handsets, which iron out bugs, speed up performance, and add missing functionalities, so him joining the Samsung Android team could only mean the homebrew TouchWiz UI should be getting more love from customers. Moreover, Samsung will need something to further differentiate itself other than awesome hardware, now that Google acquired Motorola as its Android manufacturing playground.
Foodspotting, the food and restaurant centered social network, announced today that it has reached 1 million app downloads in just 18 months. Although iTunes doesn’t release download numbers, it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of those downloads have come on iOS. The Android Market lists the app in its 50k-100k download range, and just given the overall user size of Windows Phone 7, it’s safe to assume WP7 brings up the rear in the download list. And, to celebrate the 1 millionth download, the Foodspotting apps for iOS and Android have received updates.
The new Foodspotting versions for iOS (v2.5) and Android (v0.0.4) have each received the same new feature: following. That’s right, it’s time for Foodspotting to become a real social network rather than a discovery source. With the new versions, you’ll be able to find your friends from Facebook or Twitter and follow their recommendations. You’ll also be able to follow experts like the Travel Channel or Mario Batali or even follow your favorite restaurants. And, to top it off, the new versions support higher resolutions images throughout.
Good news football fans! The ESPN Goals app is going free and coming to more phone platforms. The app is already available for Android and iPhone users in Europe, but ESPN has announced that the app will be hitting Windows Phone and BlackBerry in the next couple days.
The app is specifically for the Barclays Premier League, but includes live scores and stats, as well as fixtures and results. But, the best part about the app are the videos. ESPN Goals offers videos for all 380 games of the season including match previews and weekend roundups, but the key are the near-live videos of match highlights and goals. Video of goals are made available minutes after being scored except for matches on Saturdays at 3pm, which have video delayed until 5:15pm due to UEFA restrictions. You can even get notifications of new video as it comes in.
Overall, this is a solid app. And, though it used to cost £3.99 per month, now it’s all free and definitely worth testing out, especially with the season set to open this Saturday.
In an age where we’re constantly combating things like computer viruses and hackers, mobile smartphone users can’t be sitting too comfortably seeing that they’re targets as well. Thankfully enough, McAfee and Sprint are joining forces in an effort to provide customers a sense of protection.
Sprint customers will now have the opportunity of trialing, and then purchasing McAfee’s Mobile Security and Family Protection software for their Android powered smartphones.
The Mobile Security app is initially available as a 7-day free trial for anyone who wishes to check it out, but then after that, its annual subscription fee stands at $29.99. Some of its features include the ability to track and locate a smartphone, lock or wipe the device remotely, and get backup protection for things like your contacts, photos, and videos. Absolutely, it’ll protect your handset from viruses, malware, trojans, and just about any other nasty baddies out there.
As for the Family Protection software suite, it’s free to use for the first 30 days, but it’ll incur an annual subscription of $19.99. This one is geared around monitoring and filtering items on your smartphone – like blocking specific sites that are not intended for kids. Also, it offers built-in protections so that your kids, even if they’re phone smart, won’t be able to remove it from the phone.
You can download either of the two apps starting today directly from the Sprint tab in the Android Market or from the Sprint Zone app.
If you’ve been seeing some wacky and out of place things happening with the Adobe Flash Player for your Android powered smartphone, then you might be glad to know that a recent update has been made available for it.
Jumping up to version 10.3.186.3, it’s mentioned to fix a host of security issues found with it, and at the same time, it brings forth quite a few different enhancements for specific website and phones. For the most part though, Android users will hopefully experience less issues in regards to Flash content. Here is the list of some items included with the release:
Of course, it would be an ideal thing to grab that download if you haven’t been notified already by your handset.
If you were a hardworking software developer building popular and well-selling apps, you would be pretty frustrated, to say the least, if you realized one day that you are getting underpaid for your work, right? That is pretty much what is going on at camp Android right now – a number of software developers are reporting that the amount of money they are being paid through Google Checkout for their software does not match the number of times their apps have been purchased from the Android Market.
The issue was brought up about two weeks ago and it seems like Google is well aware of it. However, a solution to the problem is still nowhere in sight even though the company has promised to take care of it in a timely manner. What is causing all the troubles is not exactly clear just now, but it looks like Google Checkout is not processing all orders correctly resulting in a number of downloads being marked as shipped, yet the respective developer account does not get credited for that. Nevertheless, it has been confirmed that all developers who got underpaid will have their account balances fixed and will get reimbursed for the missing amount of money.
The rise of McDonald’s burgers has been slow but steady – the franchise took nearly half a century to sell a hundred billion burgers. But today’s mental staple food – apps – don’t have that time. With a smartphone in nearly every pocket have they managed to outpace our need for burgers? Well, not that those two are somehow interchangeable, but this infographic does well in illustrating what a brilliant job Apple and Google have done in distributing apps as both are well on track of delivering its 100 billionth application.
While now the app download count stands at some 15 billion for Apple, a milestone proudly announced by the company a couple of weeks ago, the rate at which users download application is only speeding up. Actually, if it follows the envisioned pattern, in a mere five years and a half since its launch the App Store may reach McDonald’s 100 billion mark.
You might wonder where does that leave Android and rightly so. The platform has been enjoying booming popularity as it covers devices from the low-end to high-end, and subsequently app downloads are growing even faster there. The time span expected for it to reach the same milestone is just 3.5 years. Bottomline seems to be that you could only eat so many burgers, while app gluttony with a 100 billion apps might seem insatiable. Have you found your app downloads growing with time?
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