App Development

Shazam adds new feature for QR code-like campaigns

Shazam adds new feature for QR code-like campaigns

Shazam, the same app that lets you identify catchy mystery songs playing just about anywhere will now be able to "identify" visual objects. We first got word of the then-rumored feature back in March. Unfortunately, this does not mean providing more information about that mystery fruit at the supermarket, or some strange bug in your backyard. Instead, Shazam will now let you scan Shazam logos (and QR codes) embedded on products like posters and magazines to get additional content--AKA advertisements.

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Test Android apps across devices with Google’s in-house Cloud Test Lab

Test Android apps across devices with Google’s in-house Cloud Test Lab

Android developers need to make sure their apps work on a wide variety of mobile devices, while iOS developers only have to worry about iPhone and iPad variations. According to an Open Signal report, there were over 18,000 distinct Android devices in existence in 2014. To ensure that apps don't encounter unforeseen bugs on such a fragmented device market, developers have been enlisting third-party testing services. Google announced at its I/O conference that it will be launching the in-house testing service, Cloud Test Lab.

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Microsoft needs a new tune to woo developers to Windows 10

Microsoft needs a new tune to woo developers to Windows 10

"Developers! Developers! Developers!" That chant might trigger nightmares of a rather sweaty Ballmer, but what was true almost a decade ago is now even more critical for Microsoft's success. Yes, success, not just survival. There is little doubt Microsoft could live on for a few more years on life support should Windows 10 flop, but if the next operating system is to become the success that Windows 8 was not, it needs to have more apps. Not just any app, clones or fakes, but the kind of apps that make iOS and Android users go nuts. And to get those apps, Microsoft will obviously need developers, developers, developers.

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Apple designs ‘Home’ app as a control hub for HomeKit devices

Apple designs ‘Home’ app as a control hub for HomeKit devices

Apple is getting closer to achieving a "connected home" with its HomeKit initiative. Among Apple's plans for its own Internet of Things is an app to manage everything from your mobile device. Apple is reported to be designing an app for iOS 9 called "Home" which would act as a master control for all HomeKit connected accessories. Aside from the app, HomeKit devices could also be capable of responding to voice commands through integration with Siri.

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SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS updated with theme store and improvements

SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS updated with theme store and improvements

SwiftKey's innovative keyboard app has expanded its selection of keyboard themes on iOS, with a small price tag. The free app just added a new selection of "freemium" themes to download. SwiftKey's Android app dropped its $3.99 price tag last year in favor of a in-app purchases; now, the iOS version is following its lead. SwiftKey only debuted on iOS last year, after gaining popularity on Android systems. The app's late entry into the iOS market was due to Apple blocking system-wide, third-party keyboards from its App Store.

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Wunderlist intros public API, will weave through your apps soon

Wunderlist intros public API, will weave through your apps soon

Like most consumers, there are probably several apps that are central to your day-to-day existence. Again, like most, those apps likely operate independently of one another, existing in their own contained environment. Wunderlist, the popular to-do list app, is among the more popular choices for those who want to get things done via their smartphone or tablet (or smartwatch). After re-imagining their app as a platform, Wunderlist is taking the next big step in that process in releasing an API for all.

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Dear Apple Watch Developers: Please be like Marco

Dear Apple Watch Developers: Please be like Marco

Apple Watch is going to change a lot of things. It’ll change how other companies consider wearables, and its popularity will certainly make being on the Apple Watch via apps a necessity. Apple Watch is also accelerating how we think about those apps best considered as ‘micro-mobile’; those that are made specifically for wearables. With so many Developers having worked on their Apple Watch apps based off of emulation ahead of launch, we’re starting to see them go back to the drawing board. And they’re right to do so.

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BitTorrent’s P2P chat Bleep keeps your messages secure across platforms

BitTorrent’s P2P chat Bleep keeps your messages secure across platforms

In the age where nothing is ever truly erased from the internet, BitTorrent's decentralized chat platform, Bleep, is a welcome service. BitTorrent's Bleep aims to create messages out of the hands of any third parties by using the same peer-to-peer technology popular for pirating movies and music. Bleep's chat platform doesn't store personal data or chat logs anywhere except on your own local device, which means that all of your messages are safe from prying eyes and the possible long arm of the law.

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Google’s ‘News & Weather’ Apple Watch app has ‘fail’ written all over it

Google’s ‘News & Weather’ Apple Watch app has ‘fail’ written all over it

Apple Watch apps are typically pretty good at being unique, but offering up an experience that’s both familiar and approachable. Some go a bit above and beyond the call of app duty, making Apple Watch features that stand out. Google isn’t one of them. Today, the largest conduit of information on Earth updated their News & Weather iOS app to support Apple Watch, and it’s not good. It’s barely passable, really. Compared to other apps that offer similar info, Google’s News & Weather falls well short of being exciting, much less interesting.

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Periscope’s new phone number sign-in is really Twitter’s ‘Digits’

Periscope’s new phone number sign-in is really Twitter’s ‘Digits’

With Periscope’s most recent update, the ability to sign up with your phone number was added, creating a secondary way to use Periscope if you didn’t have (or want to use) your Twitter account. It’s the first time Periscope has ventured outside the Twittersphere for gaining users, but they didn’t stray too far. We’ve confirmed that Periscope’s new phone number sign-up scheme is simply Digits, which is part of Twitter’s Fabric mobile development platform. So it’s Twitter, but not Twitter.

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