ShakeSpeak Keyboard Lets You Write Like Shakespeare

In the modern world, communication has often been reduced to abbreviations that represent words and a vast collection of emotive images, which is a far cry from the language used by Shakespeare and other famous linguists. Now you can add a little culture to your messaging and find out what the world would have been like if Shakespeare had a smartphone with the latest new keyboard from SwiftKey, ShakeSpeak.

The reason why SwiftKey have decided to release such as niche smartphone keyboard in order to celebrate the upcoming 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death on the 23rd of April. ShakeSpeak makes use of the powerful predictive tools that have made SwiftKey keyboards popular in order to transform your everyday messages into something that sounds like it came straight out of the 17th century England. During the analysis of his works, a number of trademark words, phrases and expressions were identified, which will appear when you make use of this keyboard.

This may simply be a tribute project, but it is interesting to see how modern technologies such as machine learning and text prediction can act when trained on more old-fashioned linguistic styles. If you fancy sounding more like you belong 4 centuries back, ShakeSpeak can be found on the Play Store.

Google Opposes Antitrust Accusations in Russia

 

Google is no stranger to being faced with anti-trust rulings worldwide, but this is the first time that the accusations have been put forth in Russia.

Back in September this year, the Russian search engine Yandex filed a complaint against Google with the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, which ruled in favor of Yandex. The complaint was centered on accusing Google of misusing its power as the provider of the popular Android operating system to pre-load the system with potentially dozens of mandatory Google applications.

As a result of the ruling, Google would be given until December the 18th to renegotiate its contracts with smartphone manufacturers to ensure compliance. This would mean that Google would be forced to sell Android phones pre-loaded with nothing but the Google Play Store.

Google seems to have no intention to take the ruling as is however, stating that they “intend to contest this decision and explain in court why we consider it unfounded,” on their Russian blog. Yandex rose to the challenge in a statement to Reuters, “Yandex is confident in every point of its position. We are ready for the appeal and welcome the most open trial.”

It seems like this is just the start of the battle between Google and Yandex, with Yandex requesting an investigation into potential infringements by Google from the EU, implicating Google in those territories too. And from a statement by the EU that Google is already under investigation, it seems like Yandex is not the only company to take issue with Google on the antitrust front.

It seems like Google will have to try to strike a balance between providing Android to the masses and pushing its own products on the platform by default if they want to escape flak from the rest of the industry. The question is, were Android not to come packaged with all the Google apps we are used to, would many users just not install them manually anyway?

Malicious Porn App Took Secret Photos of Users

A fraudulent Android porn app that took secret photos of users and attempted to blackmail them has been discovered by security firm Zscaler. Adult Player purported to offer users pornographic videos, but quietly used an Android device’s front-facing camera to snap the user, lock their device, and try to extort them for $500 (£300) to gain control back. The image of the user taken via the front camera is displayed on the ransom page.

The app is designed to remain on screen once the ransomware has been engaged. It cannot be uninstalled and retains control over the device following a conventional reboot. Adult Player was not hosted by Google Play, and was instead available for download directly from a porn website.

If your Android phone or tablet is affected by such a malicious app, Zscaler advises the following steps:

  1. Boot device into safe mode (Please note that entering “safe mode” varies depending on your device). Safe mode boots the device with default settings without running third-party apps.
  2. Uninstalling ransomware from device requires you to first remove administrator privilege. To do the same, go to Settings –> Security –> Device Administrator and select ransomware app, then deactivate.
  3. Once this is done, you can go to Settings –> Apps –> Uninstall ransomware app.

Since the app is a third-party install and has not been approved by the Google Play Store, neither Google nor Android is culpable for victims of Adult Player.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Fallout Shelter Hits Google Play!

It’s taken two long months, but Bethesda’s free-to-play Fallout spinoff is now available for Android devices. Fallout Shelter, the most-downloaded app after its release on the App Store back in June, has finally hit Google Play today.

Players of Fallout Shelter take on the role of overseer for, well, a fallout shelter, much like Vault 101 from Fallout 3. You are tasked with rescuing survivors from the wasteland, designating their SPECIAL stats, and assigning them jobs within the shelter. Dwellers of the vault can even be paired up to breed, increasing the population and ensuring the future of mankind.

A mobile iteration of Fallout was teased as early as 2009, with Game Director and Executive Producer Todd Howard saying at the time, “I think that the world of Fallout is unique enough that it could work on any platform. I think some of the things we do like VATS, I think that could translate to any platform, particularly the iPhone.”

Bethesda is hoping that the buzz from Fallout Shelter will carry through until the much-anticipated Fallout 4gameplay footage of which was recently leaked from a closed doors session during Gamescom – which is due for release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on 10th November this year.

New App Informs When Someone Has Deleted You

Have you ever wondered why your Facebook friends counter seems to be going lower and lower? No, ok just me then, well wonder no more, as this new app informs you when a friend decides to run in the opposite direction, OK I may be trying to artificially hype this notion up.

The App goes by the name of “Who Deleted me on Facebook” which possibly took all of 5 seconds for that name to be referenced. The App which is available on the standard Android and IOS platforms, aims to inform you when a friend has deleted you from their account. The caveat is that while it informs you from the moment you have downloaded the App, it will not respectively scan back to previous friends who deleted you.

The App has another feature which also shows your newest friends, people you have chosen to block and a ‘last seen’ stamp for everyone in your list. This App used to be available on the site itself until Facebook changed its policies. Whether this software is actually useful is another matter, after all, if you have been deleted you would either A notice, B not notice or C not care.

The App is free and available from both Apple’s and Google’s App stores, but according to the iTunes Store, the App which had been released on the 29th June 2015 has not yet received enough ratings to display an average feedback chart

Thank You TNW News for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of itunes store

YouTube’s Toddler App Full of Disturbing Videos

Looking for videos on how to juggle chainsaws? Drink battery acid? How about My little Pony peadophilia jokes, or Bert and Ernie overdubbed with  foul language?

You can see all of these on the brand new YouTube kids, the new application that google have released, stating it is perfectly safe for young children.

Consumer groups were set to ask the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday to investigate the new application on the grounds of unfair and deceptive business practices, the second official complaint since the kid “safe” service launched last month.

Dale Kunkel stated ““The deeper you get into this, the scarier it is in placing children at risk”. Dale is a communications officer for the University of Arizona “I’m astonished at the volume of inappropriate material, much of which will be harmful for kids if they see it.”

Google posted a statement on monday that it plans to work to make the applications videos as family friendly as possible. They said they take feedback very seriously, removing offensive content that has been flagged by users.

“The first step is to “algorithmically narrow it down to family-friendly content,”  Shimrit Ben-Yair  told the San Jose Mercury News. However that filter is not working according to advocates and some parents who wrote on the Google Play and itunes stores.

Do you think the application is safe for kids to use? let us know in the comments.

Thank you to Phys for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Google

Google Play Now Allows Pre-Registration for Upcoming Content

Soon after the latest update reached Google Play Store application, it started allowing customers to Pre-register for certain apps and games. Terminator Genisys: Revolution by Glu Mobile is the first one to witness the change. Pre-Registering upcoming content like games or app confirms that you’ll be notified on your Android device the second they’re available to download. It might also be helpful for developers to know the demand of the content in the market.

The app’s landing page has all the details one would expect, including a video, screenshots and a description except release date, price, device compatibility, country restriction. These titles have a Pre-register button where the Buy / Install / Update button is usually present. Pre-registering is not a paid service, it’s just notification service which will let you know when the content is ready to download. You can unregister and remove yourself from the list to be notified by tapping the button again.

This will prevent posting of app listing with no device compatibility on the Play Store; this is quite a sensible change. What is your opinion on this step? Were you expecting this or is it just some useless feature? Let us know in the comments section.

Thank you Android Police for providing us with this information.

Google Releases New Handwriting Keyboard with 82 Language Support

Google has released a new keyboard meant for handwriting called Google Handwriting Input.

The App works on any Android device running version 4.0.3 (Ice cream Sandwich) and above. The keyboard supports input in a whopping 82 languages. Simplifying the job of having multiple google keyboards for each language.

The keyboard can recognize emojiis by drawing them, is useful for languages that may be challenging to type on a conventional android keyboard and may work even if your handwriting is shocking!

Once you have installed the new keyboard from the play store you can see it looks the same as the old android keyboard. If you wish to write something rather than type it. The app recognizes input from both a finger and a stylus if you have one.

I’ve installed it on my Sony Xperia and used my fat fingers to have a play around and it works pretty well, what seems to me as an illegible scrawl is understandable by the app. Since release the App has been downloaded over 5000 times. You can download the app from here

Google clearly have put a lot of thought and development into this app. It’s going to be interesting to see what they come up with next.

Thank you to Android Central for this information

Image courtesy of agbeat.com

Star Wars Digital Movie Collection Goes on Sale Friday

You can purchase the Star Wars Digital Movie Collection on Friday April 10th from retailers such as Vudu, Xbox, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, as well as others. Digital copies of the movies will be available for your streaming pleasure this weekend.

With more and more people watching movies without being tied to physical media, this move comes as not surprise though many out there still prefer to have a physical copy of the media. There will be new features included with the collection to entice people into the purchase. There will be a “Discoveries from the Inside” featurette for each movie, and so-called “Conversations” between key contributors. No word on pricing as of yet but Vudu is taking pre-orders for $90 which is the same as the Blu-Ray set.

Source: Engadget

Three Android Apps Pulled From Google Play Over Adware Concern

Three Android app have been deleted from the Google Play store after being flagged as adware by security outfit Avast. One of the apps, a card game called Durak, had over 5 million downloads before it was removed. The other two apps flagged as malicious were Iwolt IQ Test and Konka Russian History.

As Avast’s Filip Chytry explained in a blog post, “When you install Durak, it seems to be a completely normal and well working gaming app. This was the same for the other apps.”

“This impression remains until you reboot your device and wait for a couple of days. After a week, you might start to feel there is something wrong with your device. Some of the apps wait up to 30 days until they show their true colors.”

“If you approve you get re-directed to harmful threats on fake pages, like dubious app stores and apps that attempt to send premium SMS behind your back or to apps that simply collect too much of your data for comfort while offering you no additional value.”

“An even bigger surprise was that users were sometimes directed to security apps on Google Play. These security apps are, of course, harmless, but would security providers really want to promote their apps via adware?”

Though the apps have now been removed for download, anyone who has already downloaded them is advised to uninstall them immediately and run an anti-virus scan on their Android device.

Source: The Guardian

BioWare’s Star Wars RPG Masterpiece Arrives on Android

BioWare’s Xbox classic, Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic, has been released for Android platforms, following a successful port to Apple’s iPad last year. It is available from the Google Play store and is controller-compatible.

Although available for all current Android platforms, as a dense and graphically complex game for a mobile platform, the bigger the screen the better, so the game is best served by a tablet. Early Google Play reviews, for a wide variety of Android platforms, are positive.

Aspyr Media, responsible for the port, is offering the game at half-price – £3.20, or $5 in the US – to celebrate its release.

Source: Engadget

Google Pulls Amazon App From Play Store Searches

A possible dispute between Amazon and Google has resulted in the regular Amazon app for Android being removed from Google Play Store listings.

Back in September, Amazon began offering Android apps for download via its app, which seems to have riled Google. Though the Play Store is often more lenient with the apps it allows for download – certainly more so than Apple’s App Store – anything Google sees as competition for its own app service is highly regulated. Speculation suggests that this is the reason the Amazon app has been excised from Google Play searches.

A  search for “Amazon” on Google Play brings up a stripped-down version, called Amazon Shopping, that has no integrated app store, but the old Amazon app is still available for download from the Google Play Store through this direct link, and from Amazon’s website.

Source: CNN

Nokia’s Z Launcher Now Available

Alongside its new Nokia N1 tablet, Nokia also introduced its ‘Z Launcher’ for Android.

The launcher, which is also being released for other Android users, features a very unique approach to a home screen, tailoring the experience to different times of day. The launcher will display the most likely to be used apps for that specific time of day and will also change its appearance dependant on whether it’s day, night, morning or evening. It also features a new “scribble recognition” system that allows users to simply scribble app names on the screen to be presented with a list of relevant apps.

The launcher is available now from Google Play as a public beta.

Source: Android Central

Google Constructing a Play Store for Project Ara

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about Google’s ambitious fully modular smart phone; Project Ara. The cell-phone can be chopped, changed and modified according to the users desires and specification needs. Reports are swirling that Google’s moving ahead with the project and the company has confirmed that it’s in construction stages of creating a Google Play store for Project Ara.

The marketplace like web-store will allow developers to sell custom components directly to consumers exactly like apps are sold today. It’s an incredibly big dream that Google’s trying to bring to life and the road forwards is certainly not going to be an easy path. There are many looming technical risks associated with Project Ara that still need to be overcome.

We still don’t have a lot of specific information on how much modules will cost or how many will be available through the store. It’s been rumoured that Project Ara will allow users to swap out components without having to even power down the device (except the display and CPU).

Big questions still face the team behind the modular smart phone – nothing like this has ever come to consumers before in the mobile space. It’ll be interesting to see how things progress in the coming months as Google moves forward with Project Ara; we expect to hear more details soon.

Thanks to Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

Flappy Birds is Back! … But Only on Amazon’s Appstore for Android

Flappy Birds’ creator has promised to bring the popular ‘tappy’ mobile game back a few months ago, along with an additional feature. He said that the new version will have a multiplayer option, which would double the fun since it involves competing with your friends.

The time is come and Dong Nguyen, the creator of Flappy Birds, has released the new version through his .Gear studio on Amazon’s Appstore for Android. There is no confirmation up until now of it being available for either Apple’s AppStore or Google’s Play Store just yet. The game is said to be compatible with Amazon’s Fire TV platform as well and includes new obstacles such as ghosts.

“Flappy Birds now are on Amazon Fire TV with incredible new features: Person vs Person mode, more obstacles, more fun and still very hard,” the game’s description reads. “Enjoy playing the game at home (not breaking your TV) with your family and friends.”

The Flappy Birds Family title is said to have support for the Amazon’s Fire TV remote and its dedicated video game controller, prompting players to “push” a button instead of the previous “tap” the screen. Nguyen is said to have pulled the original Flappy Birds off the AppStore and Google Play Store back in February due to its addictive nature, even though it was earning the developer “tens of thousands of dollars” daily through advertising.

It happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem,” Nguyen said. “My life has not been as comfortable as I was before. I couldn’t sleep,” he added.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Polygon

GBA4iOS Deemed As The Best Game Boy Advanced Emulator for Apple’s Smartphones

It’s hard to find an original Game Boy nowadays or even buy games for it from a handful of 3DS eShops that still survived up until today. Game Boy fans have to resort to emulators in order to play their favourite old titles.

Smartphones appear to have become the best emulation alternatives in order to get that Super Mario Land game loaded and play it on-the-go due to the low hardware requirements needed to actually simulate the Game Boy and the game itself.

Up until now, Android users were able to emulate these games on their mobile devices. The Play Store has a variety of emulators, granting its customers a large list of applications to choose from. However, Apple has not been too kind when it comes to emulators, having them restricted from its AppStore.

Up until now, two Game Boy iOS emulators by the name of gpSPhone and GBA.emu were available and limited only to jailbroken devices, having them as the only options available for the platform at hand. GBA4iOS, developer Riley Testut’s creation, however aims to be a more simple and easy solution to iOS emulators. It is said to use a loophole in Apple’s app installation system, having the user set the smartphone’s date back one day. The app can be directly downloaded via the GBA4iOS website and the best part is that the app is free!

Besides the above mentioned, the app is said to be the best GBA emulator on any platform, having full support for Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy support, accelerated speed, multiple and locked save states, as well as customizable skins and Dropbox syncing for saves between multiple devices. It is said to even use some iOS features as well, such as AirDrop and the MFI Bluetooth controllers.

The app does however have some flaws. For example, it does not have any advanced emulation features such as video and sound filters. There is also word of a 2.1 update scheduled to be released at the end of the summer, which promises multiplayer support via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct.

THank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Facebook Will Begin to Force Users to Install Messenger App

Once again we get another reason to hate Facebook more than we do already, in the next few days Facebook will be forcing users to download the messenger application to their mobile device to continue talking with friends and family. This is for the world, as far as I know, apart form the EU who had to do it back in April.

Users will get several hints to download the app before hand, allowing them to continue using the normal chat for a little bit longer but eventually the normal messages tab button will be replaced with a messenger app shortcut, not cool Facebook, not cool.

Facebook claim that using messenger is about 20% faster than using the standard chat feature in the normal app running on both IOS and Android devices. Apparently the feedback EU switch over was positive so Facebook have decided it’s time everyone used the app. I for one will not be using it, probably hidden malware or something…

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

YouTube App Now Incorporating 1080p and 480p Streaming Options

A long-standing suggestion has now been added to the latest update of YouTube’s android application – the ability to stream in 480p and 1080p quality settings.

Activating these options is easy. Once your video has started streaming, press the three dot menu at the top right of your device, tap the ‘gear’ icon that appears and your available resolutions will be displayed.

Please bear in mind that not all YouTube videos will support 480p or 1080p playback – this is mostly due to them being low quality and/or old.

To take full use of this feature, you will need to be viewing compatible video uploads and update your client to the latest revision (Done automatically or through manual update in Google Play). We’re told this update hasn’t yet been rolled out to everyone however, so don’t stress if your phone isn’t currently displaying these settings, it will come in due time.

Image courtesy of Joshua Worth

Google Expected To Integrate Into Google+

In an interview with Livemint, Google’s Steve Grove, director of partnerships for Google+, went into some detail about how the company plans to stretch Google+ even further in the future: “We’ve been consolidating the different services, so today Search, YouTube, the Google Play app store, all this plugs into Google+. And the reason for that is that Google+ is kind of like the next version of Google.”

Google is doing everything it can to attract more people to Google+, a service which has been ignored at the best of times, and reviled at the worst. By partnering with celebrities and major companies, integrating all of its products and requiring real names for commenting, Google has been taking the necessary steps to grow the social network, even if some of the methods have been unpopular.

According to Grove, mobile is the next target for Google+. “[Google+ is] going to create a network future with people uploading live videos from their phones, said Grove. “Google+ could do for live video, what YouTube did for recorded video.”

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information

First Google CTS-Certified CyanogenMod Phone To Be The Oppo N1

The Oppo N1 which will arrive with CyanogenMod 10.2 out of the box has recently passed Google’s compatibility test suite, meaning that it will officially be able to support Google’s Play Store and that Oppo N1 owners will be able to install apps of their choice.

This is the moment which marks the very first time that CyanogenMod has been certified by Google for a smartphone device. Oppo also shared that the smartphone which will run on CyanogenMod 10.2 will be made available starting December 24th, but it remains to be seen whether the price will still be $599 or more expensive now. But at least there is another addition to be considered other than the upcoming smartphones like the Nexus and Google Play Edition handsets, if you are in the market for a close stock Android experience.

Still, it is nice to see that enthusiasts will be able to finally enjoy Google Play the legit way instead of performing a sideloading process. Fans of CyanogenMod will be eagerly awaiting the release of these Google certified CyanogenMod Phones.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ubergizmo

Sony Announces Dual USB Drive For Android Devices

Sony announced a 2-in-1 flash drive, and just in time for holiday season too . This would make a great present to receive or give due to the SA Series device’s special feature, which is providing a normal USB 2.0 connector on one end and a microUSB connector on the other end.

“Consumers want to let a friend see the photo they just took or share a video easily with as few steps as possible,” said Viviano Cantu, director of consumer media marketing, Sony Electronics. “These new drives combine convenience, peace of mind and performance and are perfect for mobile multi-tasking.”

The flash drive will be available starting from January in 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB capacities. This new drive would be ideal for moving video, music and pictures off a smartphone and onto a computer’s hard drive. To help with this, Sony will provide a File Manager app on Google Play, allowing users to move, delete, sort and playback files.

“Consumers can also use the drives as additional or temporary storage for their smartphones and tablets, a storage option that’s ideal for enjoying large data files like feature-length movies or personal music libraries,” reads the press release.

The File Manager is said to be compatible with Android 4.0.3 to 4.3 Jelly Bean only. Supporting operating systems include Windows 7 and Windows 8, Windows Vista, Mac OS 10.4 or later, and the same Android builds as previously mentioned. A locking cap protects the connectors from dust, debris and damage, and the devices’ metal body is durable enough to withstand everyday mobile use.

Thank you Tom’s Hardware for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Digital Trends

Twitter Receives An iOS And Android Update, Gets New Features And Improvements

Twitter has finally updated both its iOS and Android apps, adding a new design and new features. Users can now send and receive pictures in Direct Messages and there are some tabs that can be swiped now spotted on the feed. Swipe the tabs to move from Home to Discover to Activity has been added and you can also limit the replies and Retweets that you see to those coming from a Twitter account that you follow.

You can also read tweets from people you follow or other Twitter subscribers who are nearby using the search feature. And if you are an iPhone user, you can use Safari Reading List to save web articles to read later. Select a profile as a favorite, and you will receive a notification whenever that member sends out a tweet.

The update should have been pushed for most users out there, but for those of you who haven’t got a change to check your notifications recently and haven’t already updated your Twitter app by now, you can find it for both Android and iOS in the AppStore and respectively Google Play Store. Happy Tweeting!

Thank you Phoneareana for providing us with this information

User Location Shared To Advertisers With The Help Of An Android Flashlight App

People nowadays depend on smartphones in their daily life, whether to check their e-mails, go on social media applications or even pay directly with them. That’s why most of this information is encrypted or it’s done via user discretion. Sometimes though deceptive developers employ backdoors in their seemingly harmless apps to steal user information. That is what GoldenShores Technologies, the developer for Brightest App for Android did to its users, and yes, unfortunately the application had a so-called backdoor in it.

The app transmitted precise user location to third-party advertisers along with a unique device identifier. Thankfully though the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken action against the developer who has agreed to settle charges.

“When consumers are given a real, informed choice, they can decide for themselves whether the benefit of a service is worth the information they must share to use it,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC bureau of consumer protection, in a statement. The app has over 50 million users.

GoldenShores Technologies will be forced to give a way for users to have more control over how their location and the feature to share it. The strangest part is that the app would have stated the location sharing feature upon installing it. Who would have used such a flashlight application with geo-location sharing features attached to it?

Thank you Chip Loco for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of efinancialcommunications.com

Assassin’s Creed Pirates Launches On Mobile Devices This December

Ubisoft have announced that the next game from their award-winning Assassin’s Creed franchise, Assassin’s Creed Pirates, will be available for high end smartphones and tablets from December 5 on the App Store, on Google Play and on the Amazon Appstore for £2.99.

Featuring naval combat, Caribbean exploration and an epic quest for legendary treasure the game is already sounding like a nice diversion to enjoy this December. In Assassin’s Creed Piratesplayers will explore the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy as Alonzo Batilla, a young and ambitious captain. Players will be tasked to manage their crew, upgrade their ship, recruit new crew members and engage in massive real-time naval battles to become the most feared pirate in the Caribbean and claim La Buse’s renowned treasure. Along the way, players will cross paths with Assassins and Templars, as well as famous buccaneers including Blackbeard, Bellamy, and Hornigold.

Ubisoft Paris has developed a brand new mobile engine to bring improved 3D visuals to Assassin’s Creed Pirates. This engine is responsible for the moving waters, lush islands, and gorgeous graphics players will experience on their quest for legendary treasure.

Personally I’m not too big on mobile gaming, but it’s nice to see a AAA franchise getting a budget friendly release.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/2jLHqFygVVA[/youtube]

Thank you AC for providing us with this information.

Google Play Store 4.4.21 APK leaked

Google Play Store APK version 4.4.21 has been leaked, and is available to download for most android devices right now. If you’re tired or waiting for Android 4.4 KitKat in particular, then you can now at least get a piece of the pie without having to wait for Google to make the whole package available to all. Today, the Google Play Store 4.4.21 update is available to anyone who wants to download it, giving users the chance to upgrade ahead of Google’s own planned  road-map.

In terms of updates to the Play Store, there’s nothing really all that interesting to report as yet. The most noticeable change here is that Google has done away with menu-accessible navigation buttons in favor of a slide-out panel, which is certainly the design angle that most mobile developers seem to be going for these days. It’s something that was perhaps first really prevalent on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, but both Android and iOS now take advantage of slide-out panels in order to reveal menus and the like.

The date regarding an official release of the Google Play Store 4.4.21 is unknown at this point, but it’s a fairly safe bet that it will launch alongside Android 4.4 at the latest, and perhaps even before that. It’s compatible with everything running Froyo and beyond though, so everyone can install it right now on your device from the link here.

Thank you Redmond Pie for providing us with this information.

Sony To Release PlayStation App On iOS And Android Stores This November

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. announced that it will release PlayStationApp, a new application for mobile devices, on November the 13th, 2013 in North America, and on November the 22nd, 2013 in Europe and will be available free of charge.

The PlayStationApp can be downloaded onto various mobile devices, such as iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android based smartphones and tablets, from the App Store and Google Play. Once installed, these devices can be used as second screens in supported PlayStation4 titles, and users can easily access the PlayStation Network features such as Friend Lists and Trophies. Furthermore, users will be able to exchange messages with members of their Friends List, and browse through news and information on the official PlayStation website. The PlayStationApp comes with a variety of features that allow users to seamlessly access and enjoy the world of PlayStation.

The following features are available on PlayStationApp:

  • Directly access various PSN(SM) features and information
    • Browse the official PlayStation website and access information
    • PS4 Second Screen Feature
    • Spectate other PS4 users’ gameplay
    • Purchase game content on PlayStationStoreUse a mobile device as a simple remote to control the PS4 system
  • Users can access their own profile screen.
  • Users can access/compare their own and friends’ Trophy accomplishments.
  • Exchange messages between PS4 systems, PlayStation3 (PS3) systems, PlayStationVita (PS Vita) systems, and mobile devices installed with PlayStationApp.
  • Access and filter friend profiles.
  • Notify users about their friends’ shared activities on “What’s New”.
  • Notify PS4 users when they receive any new notifications or game invitations. Users can also display their lists of game items.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

BBM for Android and iPhone Arrives On The Store

BlackBerry’s BBM messenger service finally arrives on Apple’s AppStore and Android’s Google Play, but nothing is as simple as it seems. BBM fans who signed up on the official site will be able to use the application immediately, but unfortunately those who haven’t can download the app to “hold your spot in line,” and will get an e-mail when they can start using the service.

BlackBerry said 6 million people signed up for information on BBM.com. “If you didn’t sign up in advance, don’t worry — we are focused on moving millions of customers through the line as fast as possible,” the blog said.

BBM was supposed to launch last month, but was pulled after a leaked copy was distributed and performed terribly in the wild. BlackBerry said the unintended launch caused issues that the company needed to resolve.

The fervent demand for the app is a counterpoint to the common thinking that BlackBerry isn’t long for this world. While sales of its newer BlackBerry 10 devices are in retreat and the company has whittled its focus down to the big businesses and governments, BBM persists as a popular messaging platform.

BBM continues to be a popular platform around the world, particularly in emerging markets where cheap, older BlackBerrys are still in demand.

Still, the delayed service for many casual users interested in BBM may turn off some users who had abandoned BlackBerry to go to Apple or Android, but were interested in reconnecting with BBM friends.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of BlackBerry.