Author Archives: Nate Swanner


Being an indie Dev is romantic, but may not be lucrative

Being an indie Dev is romantic, but may not be lucrative

I have a question for you: how much do you think an independent Developer makes? Depends on their app, right? It also depends on how well word spreads about the app, pricing, and if it finds its way to media outlets or other curated sites. There are a lot of moving parts when considering the success of an indie Dev, but it’s a romantic notion. Some dedicated soul churning away in their home office, sweating over every last pixel and animation. Still, how much do you think they make?

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Apple Watch heart rate monitoring is near (EKG) perfection

Apple Watch heart rate monitoring is near (EKG) perfection

A lot has been made of Apple Watch’s heart rate monitoring of late. While Apple admitted the niche market of wearable owners with dense wrist tattoos won’t be satisfied, we’re still wondering if the actual method used for monitoring your heart rate, photoplethysmography (which nobody should ever try to say) is any good for the rest of us. A new study, which ran Apple Watch in a side-by-side test with a dedicated heart rate monitor, showed the Apple Watch was equally adequate at measuring heart rate.

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Amazon patent details how drones will find you, talk to each other

Amazon patent details how drones will find you, talk to each other

Like all government agencies, the FAA moves slowly. Drones move quickly, and Amazon wants to strap packages to them for delivery. The well-documented issues pit the pragmatic FAA against the anxious Amazon brass; Amazon wants drones delivering packages yesterday, and the FAA is in no rush to decide how and when drones can be used for commercial use. Most recently, the FAA agreed to reconsider their ‘line of sight’ mandate for flying drones; great news for Amazon. Undeterred, or buoyed by the promise of FAA regulations going their way, Amazon is filing new patents for drone deliveries.

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Rumor: Huawei-made Nexus phone will have 5.7-inch screen

Rumor: Huawei-made Nexus phone will have 5.7-inch screen

Here we go again; Huawei making the next Nexus rumors. First surfacing about six weeks ago, Huawei is widely rumored to be making Google’s next flagship phone. So far, we’ve heard it would be based on the Huawei Honor 6 Plus, which seems as polarizing as Google’s choice for a 6-inch screen on the Nexus 6. This new batch of rumors positions a Huawei-made Nexus device as a wholly new smartphone; comparatively, there’s no Huawei phone like it. Yet.

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Ericsson takes patent lawsuit against Apple to Europe

Ericsson takes patent lawsuit against Apple to Europe

Ericsson, embroiled in patent litigation against Apple stateside, is taking the fight overseas. The Swedish company has filed lawsuits in Germany, Britain, and the Netherlands, claiming Apple owes royalties for their widespread unlicensed use of 2G and 4G LTE communication standards Ericsson owns. In a statement on the new lawsuits, Ericsson’s Chief Intellectual Property Officer Kasim Alfalahi said “Apple continues to profit from Ericsson's technology without having a valid license in place”. Apple refused comment on this recent lawsuit, instead referencing statements made about a similar legal tangling stateside.

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Keurig is bringing back ‘My K-Cups’ later this year

Keurig is bringing back ‘My K-Cups’ later this year

Keurig’s K-Cups are a strange phenomenon in tech and coffee. Reviled by their creator, their DRM circumvented by creative coffee lovers, K-Cups stand as a necessary evil for many. Keurig’s reasoning for DRM K-Cups was control; they wanted to control the hardware, content, and output. As consumers grow weary of the games Keurig plays, sales are starting to take a hit (always the surest sign a company will re-position themselves). In their most recent earnings call, Keurig CEO says a fan favorite, refillable K-Cups, are coming back.

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Android photography favorite Camera51 hits iOS

Android photography favorite Camera51 hits iOS

Recently, Carousel launched an educational series dedicated to helping you snap better photos with your smartphone. By offering up a few simple primers on best practices, you’ll (hopefully) end up with a better jumping-off point before you edit your photos. To help with that knowledge, Camera51 has landed on iOS after a long, successful run on Android. The app helps you do things like frame a shot, and can even tell you if peripheral items on-screen will interfere with framing boundaries.

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Yelp entertaining acquisition, say insiders

Yelp entertaining acquisition, say insiders

Yelp, the app you likely use to see if a restaurant is any good (or maybe even order food from), is reportedly up for grabs. According to a new report, the company — which has a $2.9 billion valuation — is entertaining the idea of an acquisition. Insiders claim the company could see more upwards of $3.5 billion if they sell outright. Though no deal is said to be on the horizon, Yelp has reportedly spoken with potential buyers (who were not named).

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Spotify has event planned, ‘news’ to share ahead of I/O, WWDC

Spotify has event planned, ‘news’ to share ahead of I/O, WWDC

The irony is not lost on us; mere weeks ahead of WWDC, where Apple is believed to announce a streaming music service (possibly with a Beats or iTunes refresh), Spotify is holding a press conference. Sending little more than an image saying “we’ve got some news”, Spotify is hoping the press will show up May 20 in New York. What will they announce? Speculation abounds, but the leading theory is Spotify is about to begin a video service to rival YouTube and/or Tidal.

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Flickr redesign brings new look, powerful new features

Flickr redesign brings new look, powerful new features

Flickr, Yahoo’s photo storage app and service, is reborn. Not only just rebranded or given a facelift, Flickr is downright new. And exciting. On all fronts — the web, mobile, and desktop — Flickr has a slew of new features, and a new look that may have it competing with popular photo-dump social sites like Instagram. With a full terabyte of storage, and features like bulk upload, better organization and snappier photo sharing, Flickr might be worth a second look if you’re not currently using it.

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Meerkat’s Dev platform, APIs may give it edge over Periscope

Meerkat’s Dev platform, APIs may give it edge over Periscope

How will Meerkat battle Periscope? It won’t be on Twitter, and they’re not even going to rely on Facebook to get them back to the promised land of live-streaming favor. Instead, Meerkat is launching a Developer platform and series of APIs. That move positions Meerkat as a stage for others to stand on; a platform other apps can lean on. It’ll also create a deluge of Meerkat-ish apps, some of which likely to do little more than tap into Meerkat’s stream for your viewing pleasure.

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Appeals court rules NSA surveillance program illegal

Appeals court rules NSA surveillance program illegal

In March, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the NSA, claiming their surveillance program was overreaching and illegal. Today, a Federal Court of Appeals has agreed with that assertion, finding the NSA’s practice of data collection “exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized”. This decision comes well after Edward Snowden began leaking documentation highlighting just how deep and intrusive the NSA’s domestic surveillance program is. In the ruling, Circuit Judge Gerald Lynch wrote “such an expansive concept of 'relevance' is unprecedented and unwarranted”.

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