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Archives: January 2013

Audible.com’s Audiobook Exchange Grows 10x in Second Year

Writers using Audible.com’s Audiobook Creation Exchange, an online audiobook rights marketplace and production platform, created ten times as many audiobooks in 2012 as they did in 2011, the year the platform launched.

The tool helps writers, publishers and literary agents to create and publish audio versions of their books. Authors can record their own readings using the platform, or they can work with actors and voice over professionals, who also have profiles in the market place. It is used by a variety of types of writers. Self-published authors and authors who have publishers but manage the audio rights themselves use the site. In addition, agents and publishers can use the tool to produce work.

Here is more from ACX.com: “All titles made into audiobooks on ACX will be sold by three of the leading retailers of digital content: Audible.comAmazon.com, and iTunes (where Audible is the exclusive audiobook supplier).”

Playable City Installation Brings Talking Street Furniture to Bristol, England

Hello Lamp Post! is a smart city installation that aims to create interactions between you and inanimate street objects. Lamp posts are not the only street furnishings to get the ‘smart’ treatment, other street things such as mailboxes and storm drains will all be mobile friendly and accessible with a simple text from your phone.

Lamp posts, bus stops and post boxes are the goosebumps of the city and so ubiquitous that they have become invisible. The ‘smart city’ approach is to augment them with technologies like digital displays, but Hello Lamp Post! will make them playable, using existing city infrastructure to make an open, hospitable and playful experience which encourages you to notice and interact with what is around you.

The project is the first winner in Bristol’s Playable City contest, and it’s part of an evolving synthesis between ubiquitous smart phones and inert infrastructure that forms the fabric of our everyday existence. The strength of the design lays in the natural indexing of each object in the city – every post box has a six figure code, every storm drain has seven. Texting “hello” plus the object’s name and identifying index number wakes up each object. Ideally, the objects will have unique personalities, a keen sense of humor, and an affinity for urban planning.

The entertainment factor comes in the hunt for those unique numbers and conversationalists among the urban bunch, but also in the curious posture that users might take when texting a lamp post. Such displays of zany spectacle might be educational for one individual, but I suppose it can also appear strange, psychotic, or comical.

Via Good

Apple Introduces 128GB iPad

Apple has doubled the storage options for the iPad with the introduction of a 128GB version of the fourth generation iPad. Consumers can purchase a 128GB iPad with retina display for Wi-Fi for $799 on February 5th. Microsoft offers a 128 GB version of its new tablet, the Surface Pro, which may have inspired Apple’s new release.

In the press release, Apple pointed out that companies who work with big files would benefit from the additional space available in the latest iPad release.

Amy Bunszel, VP of AutoCAD products for Autodesk, which offers an app for designers explained that its service often requires the use of large files. She stated, “These files are often large and highly detailed so having the thin and light iPad with its Multitouch display, integrated camera and all-day battery life, is a real advantage for iPad users to view, edit and share their AutoCAD data.”

‘Free Kindle Fire Apps That Don’t Suck’ is Free eBook Today

Free Kindle Fire Apps That Don’t Suck: Top Free Kindle Fire Word, Card, Logic, And Board Game Apps by The App Bible  is today’s Free eBook of the Day.

The app review aims to clear through the clutter of Amazon’s App Store and recommend the best apps. Check it out: “A Note from the Author: My aspiration was to make this book the very best resource of its kind. To that end, I put a great deal of time and effort into researching and writing it. I really hope you’ll find it useful!”

It is free from the Kindle Store today only.

For more free eBooks, check out our Free eBook of the Day archive.

Apple App Store & Google Play Saw Growth in Q4 2012: App Annie

In the final quarter of 2012 Google Play app revenue doubled, and iOS App Store revenue grew by about one-fifth, as compared to the third quarter, according to new data from App Annie.

The company reported today that Apple had record revenues in December 2012, jumping 35 percent over December. “…this gain surpassed even the standout revenue increase from November to December last year,” explained the App Annie blog.

Google Play’s growth was led by sales in Asia. The App Annie blog explained, “Japan and South Korea led this growth and contributed close to half of Google Play’s app revenue in Q4.”

According to the metrics, in December 2012, 76 percent of Google Play app revenue in the U.S. came from  the games category. In Japan, games drove 88 percent of revenues and South Korea Google Play revenues dominated with 95 percent of the market.

Temple Run 2 Joins Top Free Android Apps List

Temple Run 2 has debuted on the top free Android apps list this week at No. 1, according to research from Google Play. Imangi Studios released the second version of its popular app earlier this month and it has already shot up the charts for both Android and OS devices. The game includes new worlds and characters can have new powers.

Below, we’ve listed the top free Android apps of the week. The list links to Google Play’s research about the individual apps, including user reviews.

As part of Mediabistro’s Media App Summit which took place last month, we spotlight the top free apps every week–helping our readers discover, enjoy and analyze successful content. Read more

eBook Sales at Amazon Up 70% in 2012

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos revealed today that eBooks is now a multi-billion dollar category for the company and was up approximately 70 percent from last year. “In contrast, our physical book sales experienced the lowest December growth rate in our 17 years as a book seller, up just 5 percent,” he stated.

Amazon reported its earnings today revealing that the company’s net sales increased 27 percent to $61.09 billion in 2012, compared with $48.08 billion in 2011. In the fourth quarter the company’s net sales increased 22 percent to $21.27 billion in the fourth quarter, as compared to $17.43 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Here is more from the press release: “For the second year in a row, Amazon’s tablet was the most popular item for customers – Kindle Fire HD continued its run as the #1 best-selling, most gifted, and most wished for product across the millions of items available on Amazon worldwide. At year-end, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle held the top four spots on the Amazon worldwide best seller charts since launch.”

Visualead – A Better Looking QR Code

Few technologies linger in perpetual potential like QR codes, and Visualead hopes to change this. Since their inception and leap from Japanese automotive manufacturing in 1994, they have lacked the necessary innovation to shape and maximize their potential. In fact, QR codes are notoriously disliked – both in their imagery and deployment.

Visualead’s Visual QR Code Generator makes QR Codes more effective by instantly and seamlessly blending them with any design, attracting users and increasing engagement.

… Visualead’s patent-pending technology changes how people engage with QR Codes. Visualead’s generator enables users to easily embed QR codes into any image or advertisement in a simple, user-friendly manner without the need for any graphic design skills. With Visualead, anyone can integrate a QR Code into any image, blending the familiar QR Codes that people recognize, with the visual design that people love.


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What’s Your Favorite App, Jeff Corwin?

AN: What’s your favorite app, Jeff Corwin?

JC:  Google Earth, Hi Tide, and Nike Running. Google Earth, because I can find out where the heck I am this time. Besides, being able to send my wife a photo of my exact location, so that she can come and rescue me, is a bonus. Hi Tide, because we live on an island, and our lives are ruled by the tides. Really. Nike Running is pretty awesome too, since it tracks the pace and distance of my runs, and compares them to my earlier ones. So I know exactly how long it would take me to get out of the middle of nowhere to get home in time to beat the tide. Sense a pattern here?

Welcome to our new column, What’s Your Favorite App?, a new feature where we talk to media professionals, journalists and authors about what kinds of apps they are using in hopes of helping readers discover new apps.  Read more

T-Mobile Now Offering Customers Personalized Cellular Names in Lieu of Numbers

T-Mobile customers can now replace their numeric cellular number with personal monikers through vanity calling service Star Star Me. The carrier is the third cellular company to add the service – along with Sprint and Verizon. The service is not free, however, customers have to pay $2.99 per month to use their personalized calling numbers.

With the StarStar Me app, available as a free download from Google Play and iTunes, StarStar Me subscribers have the option to automatically respond to calls with a custom text or pre-recorded message or send callers a link to a personal page that includes links to their blog, website, or social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as other contact info, which can easily be added into a mobile phone address book.

 

AT&T customers remain the only major group without the service so it will be difficult to obtain a popular personalized name once the provider offers Star Star Me. With Facebook and other social networks offering free voice calling via social networking apps, it remains unclear whether there is a vast market of number-forgetters out there. Further, Google Voice offer similar free services so this user will be waiting on that option if it is ever available.

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