Tag - Handango
Microsoft today provided full details of its previously hinted at Windows Phone Marketplace. The store is an improvement on the Zune Marketplace and puts not just apps and music in the same place but breaks out app updates, games and podcasts on the top level. Windows Phone 7's "panorama" layout remains intact and uses the space to both highlight a featured app as well as to delve into specific categories.
On Tuesday, PocketGear announced it has acquired Handango, thus creating the largest cross-platform, open-source application store in the world. PocketGear itself already covered more than 2,000 mobile electronics and every main OS, while Handango offers nearly 140,000 apps for BlackBerry, Palm, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Linux platforms. The two are now nearly on par with the number of offerings in Apple's App Store.
A new study shows that iPhone and iPod touch owners are not only frequent buyers of mobile apps but are actively driving prices down and spurring interest in app development. The findings from an ABI Research survey in November note that the iPhone's App Store is successful enough to have skewed prices of mobile apps downwards, with software often selling for $1 to $2 instead of the $7 to $25 at other stores. This encourages a large number of purchases and is said to be forcing developers to choose between price and sheer quantity.
Microsoft today launched Windows Mobile 6.5, its next major update to its smartphone OS. The design completely revises the main interface with a new lock screen that shows quick notifications as well as a much more touch-ready main interface that includes a "honeycomb" home screen, Zune-like menus, and many other buttons and context-sensitive menus that are all sized and shaped to be used with fingers. A new requirement for a Windows button on all phones ensures every device can jump back easily regardless of where they are in the OS.
Nokia will chase after Apple and other rivals with a mobile app portal of its own, a pair of sources claim. The reported contacts explain to Reuters that the software store will be announced at Nokia's press conference for Mobile World Congress on Monday morning. When it will go live and how its pricing strategy will work are unknown, though the shop is likely to be limited to Symbian S60 devices like the 5800 XpressMusic and N97, which have a more complex operating system capable of supporting advanced mobile apps.
Verizon this afternoon said it would publish the first version of its Any Device, Any App specs on March 19th at the Open Device Development Conference. Simply titled Version 1.0, the spec will mark the earliest opportunity for companies and other device makers can produce or modify devices to have them work with the company's newly opened service. Future weeks will see Verizon help match software written for the Verizon network to the smartphones and other devices that will run them, the carrier says.
Handango may be putting excess pressure on developers of mobile software to supply more of their revenues, according to a leaked rate card allegedly supplied to BGR. Known as the primary portal for purchasable software for BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile smartphones, the store operator is purportedly set to significantly increase the amount of revenue collected from developers hoping to use the distribution system. Small developers who sell less than $250,000 in gross revenue will see exactly half of their income stripped from each sale -- up from 40 percent, Handango reportedly says. More profitable firms will see even more money siphoned away, with all businesses selling between $250,000 and $1 million supplying 60 percent of their revenue and all larger outlets conceding 70 percent.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE