Twenty-ninth in a series. The US Windows 8 apps store crossed the 50,000 apps mark for the first time today; a total of 50,156 apps are listed in the store, with the majority of them free to download and use.
That's an increase of 1,639 apps in the past seven days, a sharp drop over last week's increase of nearly 2400 apps.
If you were thinking of signing up for a TweetBackup account to create an archive of your Twitter account, it is now too late. Having been bought by Backupify around two and a half years ago, the project has been sidelined, and no new registrations are being accepted. So where does this leave anyone who has come to rely on the service?
Although there are no new sign-ups, TweetBackup is not just going to vanish in a puff of smoke. Existing users will be able to log into their accounts until June 28 2013 but after this time it will no longer be possible to access your backup -- so be sure to download your data before this date.
Think about how to send money electronically and it’s probably PayPal that springs to mind first. But if Google gets its way, Google Wallet is about to become much more popular. For anyone in the US, Google Wallet is now integrated into Gmail meaning that it is possible to send money as easily as sending an email.
Sending money works in much the same way as attaching a file to a message -- you can attach payment to an email just as you would an image or other file. You may not see it just yet -- Google plans to roll the feature out over the next few months -- but once activated you’ll see a $ button at the bottom of the Compose window. It’s clear that Google is making electronic payments as simple as possible to help the company take a bigger share of the electronic payment pie.
Google has just announced a new on-demand subscription music service called Google Play Music All Access. The service, which is available on Android and the web, gives users access to a massive library of millions of tracks. Google’s Chris Yerga calls it "radio without rules".
It allows you to explore songs from all of the major record labels, listen to it like a radio station, provides Google-powered recommendations, charts and playlists, and blends your personal library with Google's. Everything from your Google Music locker is pulled into the new service.
BBC iPlayer has long been the go-to service for catching up on TV and radio shows. The web-based version has been available for years, and iOS and Android users have their own mobile versions to use on phones and tablets. Having been promised back in March BBC iPlayer is now available for Windows Phone 8.
In terms of functionality, there’s little to differentiate this from its Apple and Google counterparts. The app has been a long time coming, but in reality the BBC iPlayer app is little more than a wrapper for the mobile iPlayer website.
On April 8th, Roku rolled out its latest set-top box, known as the Roku 3. The little device made a splash with its new user interface and unique remote control that allows customers to plug in headphones for private listening, while still sitting back on the couch or moving around the home.
Now Roku's Tom Markworth announces that the popular new UI will start becoming available on older devices. "We’ve begun rolling out the new interface to supported Roku players as a free upgrade, and we know many of you have been waiting impatiently" Markworth states.
Microsoft is on the verge of announcing the next Xbox, with an event scheduled for May 21. But that has not stopped the company from continuing to update the existing model. Granted, the new console will not be released that day and, even when it does hit the retail market, many customers will continue to use the older model, so it makes sense for support to continue.
The latest addition is a new Twitch app. In a brief statement, Xbox Live chief Larry Hryb, AKA Major Nelson, alerts us that "today, we’re launching one of the most asked for apps on Xbox LIVE". Hryb goes on to explain what to expect -- "Gold subscribers in the U.S. will have access to 300 of the most popular streams from the service. Users can view top channels by popularity or individual game and the dashboard features curated channels, tournaments and shows happening now".
If you happen to be a runner then you have a plethora of choices these days for tracking every bit of workout information that you could possibly have wanted to know, and likely some you did not. There are websites, mobile apps and even watches that know more about you than, well, you do.
One of the most popular is called RunKeeper. The service falls into every category I named and even comes with Pebble Watch, in addition to its own watch. Now the service brings a major overhaul to the web side of things. "We created RunKeeper to be a powerful personal trainer in your pocket, but many of you look to our website to do things like drill deeper in your workout tracking, interact with friends, and connect with other partner apps" the company claims.
It takes an honorable person to support something that impacts them negatively (or conversely, be against something that impacts them positively). In other words, it is noble to support what is right rather than what is right for you. Some may view such an act as lunacy. For instance, I support the Internet Sales Tax Bill (Marketplace Fairness Act).
When it comes to Internet Sales Tax, you too should be honorable and support equality instead of looking out for your own interests. Anyone who is against the bill is simply selfish. Internet sales tax will impact your wallet. It will make you spend more money.
I was weeding through my Steam friends list the other night, looking to remove some of the people that I never see online or playing games anymore. As I scrolled through, I noticed that there were several folks on my list that hadn't signed on for one-hundred days or more. By default, Steam starts itself upon boot, with the option to automatically log yourself in as well.
It made me wonder why these people that I had played with every day or two hadn't so much as even started up the program in such a long time. After all, I don't just send or accept friend requests on a whim. I've only ever add people that I've played with a multitude of times and have spoken to directly via voice-chat or text in-game on a regular basis.
Spotify is the world’s most popular streaming music service with some 24 million active uses, around 6 million of those paying a subscription for premium services. I use Spotify all the time; it’s a great way of finding and sampling new music, and the company’s deals with major labels go a long way to legitimizing the streaming model.
Yesterday though, Spotify acted to change its website player after a Dutch developer released a Chrome extension that allowed MP3s to be downloaded from the site. Google removed the Downloadify plug-in from its site before Spotify applied the fix to the player, which now uses an encrypted format.
While all the press attention is focused on Google Glass, there’s another even more life-changing invention continuing to be developed and refined at Google. The company’s self-driving cars have already driven more than 400,000 miles without an accident (there have been two crashes -- in the first the Google car was rear-ended at a stop light, and in the second it was being driven by a human).
Although they won’t likely become commonplace on our roads for another 15 to 20 years, make no mistake, driver-less cars are the future, and will have lots of benefits. Aside from reducing accidents, they’ll be able to travel much faster -- no need for speed limits -- and give passengers (and we’ll all be passengers) time to do other things. Forget working from home, you’ll be able to work from your car.
Microsoft has announced that it is rolling out a preview version of Skype for Outlook.com in the United Kingdom that will allow users to make audio and video calls directly from their inbox.
Available from today, Skype for Outlook.com requires a one-time download of a browser plugin for Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome. Once installed, users simply connect Skype to Outlook.com and merge their contacts.
If the rumors are to be believed, every company in the tech world is currently working on a smartwatch. Apple was among the first to be linked to a wrist device, but since then we’ve heard similar development stories concerning Samsung, Microsoft, Google, and LG, to name just a few.
Assuming at least some of those rumored watches come to fruition, the developers are going to have to find a way around the issue of typing on a tiny smartwatch face, but researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have come up with what they think is an ideal solution.
Today is the biggest day of the off-season for NFL fans. We all wait to see who our favorite team selects when the pick rolls around. We wonder if the player will be boon or bust. After all, the Draft is little more than a crap shoot -- ask the San Diego Chargers how that Ryan Leaf kid worked out. On the other hand, there are late round gems to be found -- Terrell Davis was a sixth round pick and Davone Bess went undrafted.
Either way, the whole show, live from Radio City in New York, will go down beginning tonight at 8pm ET and the spectacle can be watched on the NFL Network.