Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gmail iOS app gets Notification Center support

Gmail iOS app gets Notification Center support

Gmail iOS Notification Center Support

Long-suffering iPhone Gmail users had their prayers answered Monday as Google announced support for Apple's Notification Center on its iOS Gmail app. In other words, anyone who gets an email on their Gmail account will now be able to access it right from the centralized Notification Center rather than having to check their Gmail app separately. Google says that adding Gmail to the Notification Center will make Gmail notifications "up to 5x faster than in the previous version." Other improvements to the iOS Gmail app include the ability to send emails from alternate addresses if you've properly configured them within your current Gmail account and an upgraded login system that lets users stay logged into iOS Gmail for as long as they want. Google also says that it is "looking forward to bringing… more features in future releases, including support for multiple accounts." See, they aren't evil.


Original Page: http://www.bgr.com/2012/06/26/gmail-ios-notification-center-support/

Monday, June 25, 2012

Samsung expects sales of the Galaxy S3 to pass 10 million during July

sg31 520x245 Samsung expects sales of the Galaxy S3 to pass 10 million during July

Mobile giant Samsung has said that it expects that cumulative global sales of its the Galaxy S III, its latest flagship smartphone, will pass 10 million units during next month, as it begins to see the effects of launching in the US and other significant markets.

Reuters reports that the figure was put forward by JK Shin, who is head of the firm's telecommunications business, who spoke of his expectations for the phone, which was released to 28 markets across Europe and the Middle East at the end of May.

Samsung unveiled the device in its home market today, and it expects that the phone will launch in the US by the end of the month, becoming available through 5 operators.

Samsung recently noted  said that the Galaxy S III is its largest single device push ever, it says, and its planned launched in July should see the phone available via 296 across 145 countries worldwide.

Prior to the launch, unconfirmed rumours that reportedly leaked from the company suggested that it had already received 9 million pre-orders for the phone, but the 10 million target is the first time the company has revealed any level of expectation around the device.

Breaking 10 million sales by the end of July — two months after it first went on sale — would certainly be significant, and demonstrate that its reception has lived up to the billing and hype.

In terms of comparative figures, the Samsung Galaxy S II chalked up 3 million pre-orders. The company recently revealed that it and predecessor the Galaxy S, have together passed 50 million sales across the planet.

The potential for one device to hit 20 percent of that figure within two months of launch, shows that Samsung has progressed into the chief rival to Apple's iPhone.

As first quarter 2012 industry reports from IDC and Strategy Analytics both concluded, the duo have pulled away from their other competitors.

"Samsung and Apple are outcompeting most of their major rivals and the smartphone market is at risk of becoming a two-horse race," said Strategy Analytic's Neil Mawston.

Apple is expected to launch the latest version of the iPhone later this year, with the Samsung Galaxy S III widely expected to be its strongest competitor.

Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones during the most recent quarter which, alongside 11.8 million iPad sales, saw it bring in $39.2 billion revenue, of which $13.06 billion was profit.

Friday, June 22, 2012

It’s time for Apple to allow developers to respond to App Store reviews

It's time for Apple to allow developers to respond to App Store reviews
The Next Web

 Its time for Apple to allow developers to respond to App Store reviews

It's safe to say at this point that Apple's introduction of the App Store was a watershed moment for mobile marketplaces. But the lack of options for addressing reviews directly in the store has caused frustration for many developers and the time has come for this to change.

Since it hit the scene it has set the agenda in a lot of ways, making and breaking fortunes with featured spots on its 'top 100′ lists. But it hasn't been without its various hiccups, including those same lists getting polluted with crap knockoffs and a lack of transparency in the review process.

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to dozens of developers at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference about the new changes brought about by Apple's new iOS 6 and OS X announcements. Outside of that, I had the chance to talk to them about issues surrounding selling their apps on Apple's Store and how they felt the process could be improved.

By a huge margin, the number one request by these developers was for Apple to allow them to respond directly to reviews on the App Store.

If you frequent the App Store at all, you know that the reviews below app listings can be of varying helpfulness and accuracy. Sometimes they're working on false assumptions of the app's capabilities, sometimes they're simple issues that could be fixed with a settings tweak. Sometimes they're completely insane.

What's it take to get 5 Stars!?!!? #WondersApp twitter.com/_ChrisHarris/s…

— Chris Harris (@_ChrisHarris) April 1, 2012

And then there are the complaints that are completely valid, but that the developer may already be in the process of working on or submitting a fix for. The way that they're sorted doesn't even make sense either, as the 'most helpful' metric means next to nothing. Although a review must be filed by a customer that has purchased the app, the 'upvoting' of these can be done by anyone, including the developers themselves.

useless mug 1 520x339 Its time for Apple to allow developers to respond to App Store reviews

This causes a natural corruption that can surface silly 'this is crap' remarks or just as inaccurate 'best app ever' remarks. And that's not even attacking the '5 star ratings' system at all, which has its own issues when taken as a sign of quality.

Check out the reviews for Temple Run: Brave. This is a version of the popular Temple Run app in which developer Imangi worked closely with Disney Mobile in a collaborative effort to transform the uber-popular platformer into a game for the new Pixar movie Brave.

There are hundreds of assets in the game, including textures, audio and more, that came right from the movie itself through the Disney partnership. These are the 'most helpful' reviews:

Screen Shot 2012 06 21 at 1.25.12 PM 520x287 Its time for Apple to allow developers to respond to App Store reviews

The app's rating overall? Four and a half stars.

The time is ripe for the App Store review system to grow into a two-way conversation between reviewers and developers, rather than a static 'complaint board'.

I delved into this topic a bit back when Apple announced it had acquired the app search engine Chomp. At that time I talked about the need for a platform for discourse between app makers and consumers:

But even more importantly, an app community would create a two-way platform for discourse between users and developers. Apple's current App Store is a one-way conversation, with a customer of an app making one concise statement, at times misleading or misinformed, but nevertheless practically unaddressable.

What's needed is a deeper system for commenting on apps, replying to comments, within reason, and most importantly, rater accountability. The system that personal cab service Uber has in place is an interesting one, because it allows the driver to rate the passenger as well as the other way around. This means that you can actually be held accountable for being a jerk.

And now the precedent has been set in a big way by Google, who enabled developer replies to reviews on its Chrome Web Store a few days ago and today announced that the same was coming to the Google Play store. Google is rolling out these 'review reply' privileges to its 'Top Developers' first, but it will eventually end up in the hands of anyone publishing on Google Play.

rVionFBGNK4ahm3rTLa10ojDZj7t0Q2dH1P16oiLL9j RkWsbck VkRInEmUvaEL3JbNwkutOX0K uv6Q9hLsiZ0ukSCYrngzMfdVw1NMwHuy9Bh9UY 520x435 2 Its time for Apple to allow developers to respond to App Store reviews

Google has cut the path here and Apple needs to follow. It would go a long way towards making the App Store a place for discussion about apps. Starting out with a subset of developers is an interesting way to ease into it, and allowing those replies to be sent directly to the commenters by Google email creates a conversation chain that didn't exist before.

"It's something I have wanted for years," says Justin Williams, of Second Gear and the creator of Elements. "Reviews would be more useful for both developers and customers if we had a way to interact and address their issues."

Developer Craig Hockenberry, of Iconfactory, the creators of Twitterrific, believes that "being able to respond to customer problems is a basic need for any business. If you can't keep your customers happy, you'll end up losing them."

"App developers who enter into a partnership with Apple are in a difficult situation where there is absolutely no way to contact a customer who reports a problem via an iTunes review," says Hockenberry. "I appreciate Apple's desire to keep the customer's information private, but in the process of doing that we're denied that basic need of contacting the customer about any issues they're having."

Hockenberry also agrees that many issues could be handled simply, due to many being related to changing a setting or another simple operation. Even a recommendation to visit the developer's website in order to get further help would be a welcome ability.

Until this issue gets sorted out, both app developers and their customers will continue to be frustrated by simple little problems," Hockenberry added.

Some developers are excited about the prospect of this kind of conversation, but have reservations. Tapbots' Paul Haddad, the co-creator of Tweetbot, thinks that Google's solution is interesting, but is concerned with logistics.

"I think its an interesting move by Google, my concern would be with possibly cluttering up existing reviews and the increased costs associated with having yet another support mechanism," Haddad told us. "Between Twitter, Web, in app support and Email the various support avenues that an app developer needs are already a bit overwhelming, this will add a new one."

Replying to reviews is only the tip of the iceberg, of course. Using the tools that Chomp had active when its own service was alive, Apple could do so much more than just add 'review replies'. It could use it to gin up a full-on community that allowed for more organic sharing of apps, recommendations from friends to one another and more.

The addition of Facebook 'liking' in iOS 6 is interesting, but it's essentially an outward-facing feature. Apple has, by far, the best platform for this to take place already, and it's not Facebook. There are hundreds of thousands of people that never venture outside of the App Store to find apps. They may see and download an app on Facebook, but the potential for frisson is much higher if you're in the store, looking for things to buy and a recommendation is surfaced to you by a reviewer with a good reputation, or with a relationship to you.

Apple has several months before it is likely to release a new device, probably an iPhone. It would be fantastic to see a portion of its efforts over that period be dedicated to improving not just the look and feel of the App Store, which it's already doing, but the sense of communication and community.

Mug image via Marco Arment

Original Article: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/thenextwebtopstories/~3/OcD8_OX6YxI/

Would you pay $599 for Microsoftrsquo;s new Surface tablet?

img style=display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; src=http://cdn.thenextweb.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/06/2012-06-22_10h45_24-520x245.jpg alt= title= border=0 width= height= / Recently, rumored pricing for the Microsoft Surface line of tablets leaked. Herersquo;s what it looks like: $599 for the Windows RT model, and $999 for the Windows 8 Pro version. Those have generated a bit of ire from some, worrying that the figures are too high. High pricing of the device could lead to limited adoption, and the iPadrsquo;s continued dominance of the tablet market. Certainly, the Surface line is no direct iPad-competitor, but in the minds of consumers they will be weighed side by side, so itrsquo;s hard to not think along those lines, from a market perspective. We want to know what you think. So, vote in the poll below, which is based on the lowest price point that we have heard of yet. Following, we are going to come back, tally and parse the results. Now, get voting: a href=http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2012/06/22/would-you-pay-599-for-microsofts-new-surface-tablet-poll/?utm_source=feedburnerutm_medium=feedutm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheNextWeb+%28The+Next+Web+All+Stories%29utm_content=Google+ReaderVote here TNW/a

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Google Publishes Google I/O Android App With Streaming and More

Google’s Roman Nurik has announced that the company’s Google I/O 2012 conference app is now live, offering session listings, scheduling and more. There is a live streaming component that will go active during the conference, as well as the normal lab and session scheduling and maps to help you get around.
The 2012 edition of the app once again supports Android 2.2+ devices of all shapes and sizes. With the app you can browse through sessions and code labs, manage your schedule (from the app or from your Android 3.0+ device’s home screen!), orient yourself with a map, and more. We’ve also added the ability to watch I/O Live streams on your Android 3.0+ devices (available during the conference).

Nurik mentions that Google will be open-sourcing the app just after the conference as well. Google I/O runs June 27-June 29th in San Francisco and The Next Web will be there to cover it. The conference sold out in 20 minutes but will stream the keynote and all other ‘key sessions’ live.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Any.DO expands outside of Android, brings its handy To-Do tools to iOS and Google Chrome

Chances are some members of Team Android won't be too pleased to share the any.DO goods with the iOS squad, but for what it's worth, you'll always be able to say you had it first. After being a success on Google's mobile OS, any.DO has decided to test out other waters, including making its way to those iPod touches / iPhones / iPads of the world, as well as Google Chrome in extension form. On the iOS front, the app -- which sports a very minimalist, but sleek design -- allows users to add, adjust and edit multiple tasks using a drag-and-drop, gesture-based UI. Meanwhile, the Chrome extension keeps the similar productivity goal, but takes it to the larger screen -- what's best, however, is any.DO allows you to sync all your To-Do's between different devices regardless of OS. Both the iOS application and Chrome extension are free of charge, and you can grab the version best suited for you at either of the source links below.

Via AllthingsD

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

CyanogenMod's new mascot, Cid, gets his own start-up animation

CyanogenMod's new mascot, Cid, gets his own start-up animation

Cyanogenmod's new mascot, Cid, gets his own animation

Equal parts creepy and adorable, CyanogenMod's new character has been gifted his first big appearance, in his own animation for the Android modder platform of choice. Cid (that's short for CyanogenMod ID) will replace the slightly overfamiliar skateboarding Android icon when you turn on your now tinkered-with gadget. Gaze at his sweetly-sinister glow right after the break.

Continue reading CyanogenMod's new mascot, Cid, gets his own start-up animation

CyanogenMod's new mascot, Cid, gets his own start-up animation originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 04:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Original Article: http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/05/cyanogenmod-cid-animation/