Tag - Kik
Canadian start-up Kik has launched a virtual currency for its messaging app with built-in browser. Kik users can now earn "Kik Points," which both incentivizes in-app activity and allows for buying content. Points can be earned by executing specific tasks, such as inviting friends to the beta, and in turn "buy" in-app content like stamps. Kik is available for download across operating systems.
RIM may break a longstanding policy against apps for non-BlackBerry platforms if a job listing is an indicator. The position for a Senior iOS Mobile Developer wants someone who can design and write enterprise iPad and iPhone apps. As proof that apps themselves are important, any potential hire has to show examples of published App Store titles.
A new lawsuit (below) filed last week and uncovered on Friday by CNET could try and take Apple and key iOS app writers to task for alleged unapproved contact access. The potential class action case accuses those who've admitted to any access, such as Path, Twitter, and Instagram, of violating privacy by becoming "mobile radio beacons" that were "broadcasting and publicly exposing" contact lists to everyone. Questionably, however, it also names the developers of numerous other unverified apps of doing the same thing, including Beluga, Burbn, Chillingo, EA, Facebook, Foursquare, Foodspotting, Hipster, Gowalla, Kik, LinkedIn, Rovio (Angry Birds), and ZeptoLab (Cut the Rope).
Kik launched an offshoot app, Clik, on Thursday. The Android- and iOS-based apps borrow a trick from Sony's Vscreens that lets a mobile device remote control and push video to any target device with a browser. Visiting the website (above) makes a QR code unique to that computer that, when scanned by the app, lets the phone or tablet push YouTube videos to the computer's larger screen. It doesn't require Wi-Fi to work and can have multiple users talking to one host.
RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins has continued his interviewing with hints the company might not be as closed to the possibility of BlackBerry Messenger on other mobile platforms as once thought. He told CrackBerry that he was still committed to the core BlackBerry platform and there weren't immediate plans, but that the company "should never rule this [possibility] out." The company did have staff exploring the possibility, but it would only go ahead if it was logical.
Kik has quietly released a preview version of its cross-platform messaging app for BlackBerry devices. The company posted a link on its website, enabling visitors to download a "sneak peek" ahead of the formal release. The update brings a redesigned interface, with support for push notifications and BlackBerry 7 handsets. A new security prompt also asks users before the app takes information from the address book.
Microsoft during its MIX11 event caught up in app development in significant fashion with a handful of major Windows Phone 7 apps that will take advantage of its fall 2011 update, Mango. Skype was unveiled first and will take advantage of Mango's deeper access to hardware like the microphone. The app on demo didn't make any mention of video chat, though Mango so far doesn't have front camera support.
A new in-depth look into RIM (PDF) has revealed some of the insight into RIM's past and current struggles to compete with Apple. An anonymous former worker at the BlackBerry maker said it didn't understand the appeal of the iPhone. While the 2007 version was "badly flawed from day one" through a lack of core features, Reuters heard, RIM made presumptions about what users wanted that played mostly into its existing strengths in corporate environments while ignoring important app and interface elements for everyday users.
RIM could bring its jealously guarded BlackBerry Messenger service to Android and the iPhone, a potentially significant rumor claimed Thursday. The strategy would involve a "stripped down" version of BBM that would focus on text chat but omit and geolocation and media sharing to still give users an incentive to use a BlackBerry. Pricing was still in flux, BGR heard, but it could either be free or involve either a one-off or subscription fee to avoid creating too much of a strong incentive to leave BlackBerry hardware.
Kik this week responded to RIM's patent lawsuit with a counterclaim of its own (PDF). The messaging app startup denied infringing on any of RIM's patents and further accused it of being jealous of competition to BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). The "overnight success" of Kik led RIM to contradict its own enthusiastic support of Kik, suddenly breaking agreements and pulling the app from BlackBerry App World despite celebrating it just months earlier.
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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