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Archives: July 2012

Google Earth Gets 3D On iPad, iPhone

Google is bringing cities into full 3D view in the latest update on the Google Earth iOS app. Available for the new iPad, iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, the app gives a full tour of city streets in a handful of cities across the U.S. and Europe.

Check it out: “A map must be comprehensive and accurate no matter where you are or what device you use. We also believe maps can be useful in ways you might not have imagined. With today’s release of Google Earth for iOS you can literally fly through breathtaking 3D city landscapes and images and follow virtual tours of places you’ve never been — all with a simple swipe of your fingertip. It’s a new, and I think magical way to explore the world in which we live.”

Cities that have gotten the 3D Google treatment include Boston, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and even Rome, Italy. Follow this link to take a tour.

How Parents Can Control Their Smartphone Using Apps

Giving a kid a smartphone is a really good way to entertain them while you are busy, but parents who do so should consider protecting their kids from viewing or even purchasing content that you don’t want them to see.

To help do this, PC Magazine has put together a great list of parental control apps for Android devices that can help keep a phone safe for kids.

For example, the publication reviewed eBlaster Mobile, a $70 app that lets parents stealthily track kids’ device behavior. Check it out: “eBlaster Mobile is a decent mobile monitoring tool for keeping an eye on a young smartphone owner, but savvier users will know how to circumvent the app by turning it off or rooting their Android.”

The Dark Side of Google Glass

Google Glass has been hyped, lampooned and heckled, but one comment that I’ve heard the most is that the abilities shown off in the video were rather limited.

The following video takes the same idea and goes several steps further, and in at least one creepy direction. The concept device in this video isn’t quite the same as Google’s gadget. This one is based around contact lenses, not a pair of eyeglasses, but it still builds on the same general idea of giving the user information based on what is going on around them.
Read more

The Weinstein Company Is Giving eBook For Movie Ticket Purchase

Weinstein Books is taking advantage of the upcoming film release of The Intouchables to promote its new book You Changed My Life: A Memoir, the book that the film is based on. In exchange for buying a ticket to the movie, movie goers who buys a ticket to see the film between July 27 and August 3 will get a code to redeem a free copy of the eBook.

Here is more about the book from the press release: “The book was written by Abdel Sellou, the man whose life The Intouchables is based on, and tells the story of the unlikely friendship between a French aristocrat quadriplegic and the high-spirited, low-class Algerian ex con, played in the film by César Award winning Omar Sy (Omar et Fred), hired to serve as his hands and feet.”

The eBook promotion, which is happening at participating theaters, is available for download from various retailers including Amazon, Apple, B&N.com, and Sony.

Free App – ‘Catapult Kings’

If you’ve beaten all the levels of Angry Birds (including the recent expansion pack for AB: Space) and are looking for another chance to shoot stuff with a slingshot, I have a game for you.

It’s called Catapult Kings, and in this time game you get to shoot rocks, fireballs, time bombs, and meteors at bridges, castles, and other targets.

As you can see from the screen shot at right, this game gives you a first person perspective. You’re behind the catapult when you fire, and that makes it a little harder to correctly judge the speed and angle of the shot. I think it makes the game mucg more fun,

You can find the app in iTunes for both iPhone and iPad.

Amazon Q2 Sales Up 29%, App Store Expanding To Europe

Amazon reported today that net sales increased 29 percent to $12.83 billion in the second quarter of 2012, up from $9.91 billion which the company earned in its second quarter 2011.

GalleyCat points out that the company still missed Wall Street estimates of $12.9 billion in sales. Here is more from the blog: “The company noted that Kindle Direct Publishing authors had scored 20 spots on Amazon’s list of the top 100 bestselling Kindle titles. The quarter also included an estimated loss of $65 million as the company acquired Kiva Systems.”

In the earnings report, Amazon was quick to point out that the Kindle Fire tablet remains the No. 1 bestselling product  on Amazon.com since launch. The company also highlighted the expansion of its app store in Europe. The press release has more: “Amazon.com announced that developers can now submit mobile apps for distribution through our upcoming appstore launches this summer on the Company’s U.K., German, French, Italian and Spanish sites. In just over one year, the Amazon Appstore on www.amazon.com has grown to tens of thousands of apps and games.”

AFP Launches News App for the Olympics

The 2012 Olympics are mere hours away and the news apps are still coming out of the workshop. Agence France-Presse has just pulled the dustcover off of an up-to-the-minute news app which was made just for the 2012 Olympics in London.

This free app includes coverage in both English and French of the latest events, with video, articles, and photos and other work created by the 180 AFP journalists covering the Games. You can use the app to track a schedule of all events, read the bios of competing athletes, and even get the latest results as they’re filed. There’s also a reminder function which will make sure you catch an event as it is happening and watch it unfold.

The AFP app only works on iOS, so if you need a similar app for Android NBC released a pair of official Olympics 2012 apps earlier this month.

iTunes

Would You Use A Facebook Phone?

According to a report in The Los Angeles Times, Facebook is rumored to be launching a new phone sometime next year.

The report doesn’t say too much about what the phone would look like, except that it is being manufactured by HTC and that it would likely be designed with “social experiences” in mind. Check it out: “The phone, which is expected to run on a modified version of Android, is being developed to aid Facebook in its effort to tackle mobile, which Mark Zuckerberg called Facebook’s biggest challenge earlier this month.”

With smartphones already allowing users to communicate through talk, text and email, and apps that already make it pretty easy to connect to others through location and social networks, it is hard to imagine what new Facebook would bring to the table. Perhaps a status update every time you make a call or send a text? But who would really want that anyway? What new features would make you ditch your smartphone for a Facebook phone?

ABC News Brings App To Amazon App Store, As NY Times Pulls Its App From Blackberry

In news that seems to suggest the way that consumer device adoption is headed, one large media company has added their news app to the Amazon App Store, a growing app business, while another major media company has pulled its app from the Blackberry Store, a dwindling business.

ABC News has added its free news app to the Amazon App Store, which is already available in Google Play and iTunes. Doug Vance, ABC News’ vice president of product strategy said in an ABC News report, “We have watched the Kindle Fire become a popular tablet choice and have decided to tailor our Android app for the tablet and make it available in Amazon’s App Store.” Read more

Audiobooks Ranks On Top Free eBook Apps List

Audiobooks is the No. 6 bestselling free iOS app in the books genre for the week, according to research from AppData. The free app includes 4,382 classic audiobooks.

Below, we’ve listed the top free iOS book apps of the week. The list links to Inside Network’s research about the individual apps, including historical charts, developer information and download information.

To prepare for Mediabistro’s upcoming Media App Summit on December 4, 2012, we spotlight the top free apps every week–helping our readers discover, enjoy and analyze successful content. Read more

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