Now Live on Android, Periscope Part of New Social Strategies

Periscope, Twitter’s new mobile live streaming app (and Meerkat competitor), is starting to draw the attention of advertisers and programmers. The app, which Twitter purchased this year for a reported $100 million, allows users to live stream content directly to and from their smartphones. The app was initially released only for iOS devices, but went live on Android phones this week. VH1 recently used the social tool to promote the wedding of two stars on “Love & Hip Hop” by providing users access to the ceremony’s red carpet arrival. Continue reading Now Live on Android, Periscope Part of New Social Strategies

New Apple Music Service to Feature Ping-Like Social Features

Latest reports suggest that Apple’s anticipated Beats-based streaming music service will be called “Apple Music” and will feature social networking integration for artists. According to those briefed on feature plans, Apple Music will enable musicians to maintain pages within the service to post content such as photos, videos, sample tracks and concert info. Performers will also be able to cross-promote by sharing content from other artists. Additionally, users will be able to like and comment on the artists’ posts. Continue reading New Apple Music Service to Feature Ping-Like Social Features

Apple Refutes Delays, Says HomeKit Devices Shipping in June

Apple is refuting a recent report that suggested HomeKit — its home automation software platform — was experiencing problems and could expect delays. This week the company announced that the first HomeKit-enabled devices will ship next month. The company first unveiled HomeKit at last June’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The platform enables Apple devices to control connected appliances in the home, essentially turning iPhones and iPads into a command system for smart thermostats, lights, garage doors, locks, security systems and more. Continue reading Apple Refutes Delays, Says HomeKit Devices Shipping in June

Periscope Update Allows Users to Sign Up with Phone Number

As Meerkat and Periscope battle for the lead in live broadcasting via smartphones, Periscope is rolling out a version 10.4 update to make it easier for users to sign up. No longer requiring a Twitter account, users can now use the streaming app by simply entering a phone number. However, Periscope still recommends that Twitter users sign up for the app through its microblogging service since it is easier to identify other interesting users to follow. The update also makes it easier to reply to comments during a broadcast. Continue reading Periscope Update Allows Users to Sign Up with Phone Number

SiliconDust Launches Kickstarter to Fund its HDHomeRun DVR

SiliconDust, a startup known for its live TV streaming devices, is now making a DVR that will not tie viewers down to their living room televisions. The HDHomeRun DVR is designed for cord cutters. It plugs into SiliconDust’s streaming devices so that users can watch recorded shows on smart TVs, game consoles, tablets, smartphones and computers. The HDHomeRun DVR can also record from premium channels such as HBO. As of press time, the Kickstarter campaign had raised more than $169,000. Continue reading SiliconDust Launches Kickstarter to Fund its HDHomeRun DVR

Comcast Planning to Launch Short-Form Online Video Service

Comcast reportedly has plans to launch an online video service similar to YouTube, which would offer short-form content. By offering original content, Comcast hopes it would appeal to a younger demographic and create shows that could also be distributed as part of its traditional TV cable package. The company has yet to announce an expected launch date. Meanwhile, Comcast has unveiled Xfinity Share for its Triple Play customers, which allows users to beam live video to their TVs or those of their friends. Continue reading Comcast Planning to Launch Short-Form Online Video Service

Software Subscription Marks a Major Shift for Microsoft Model

As mobile computing grows with the prevalence of smartphones and apps, Microsoft announced that it plans to bring in more money on a consistent basis by selling a subscription to Windows software. Currently, individuals and businesses pay a one-time license fee for Windows. To attract a wider user base, Microsoft re-engineered the software so that it will also work on phones and the company will give away the next version, Windows 10, for free to some users. The model will mark a significant change for Microsoft.  Continue reading Software Subscription Marks a Major Shift for Microsoft Model

MergeVR to Ship VR Headset and Controller by Holiday Season

Texas-based startup MergeVR plans to launch a $129 virtual reality headset this fall that is compatible with Android and iOS devices. While Oculus VR and Samsung have partnered on the mobile Gear VR headset, it is limited to Samsung phones and no launch date for a consumer version has been announced. MergeVR CEO Franklin Lyons explains that his company’s headset works with a range of modern smartphones. “We also are the first in the industry to have a wireless motion controller built to work with mobile VR apps,” he says. Continue reading MergeVR to Ship VR Headset and Controller by Holiday Season

React Native Lets Developers Create Apps Using JavaScript

Facebook recently open-sourced its React Native framework to allow developers to build native mobile apps without having to compromise their use of JavaScript. The problem for many app developers has been that in order to build high performing apps, they would often have to go through the trouble of using Apple or Google’s complicated native tools. With React Native, app developers will be to create sophisticated apps while making use of the far less complicated JavaScript software.  Continue reading React Native Lets Developers Create Apps Using JavaScript

Sony 4K UHD TV Line Features Thin Panels, HDR and Android

New UHD TVs have been announced by companies including Samsung, LG and Vizio. Samsung is touting its quantum-dot-like color tech, and LG is pushing OLEDs and its quantum-dot “ColorPrime,” while Vizio is emphasizing affordable sets with full-array local dimming. Sony just announced pricing and availability of its new Android TV-powered 4K sets. The line features 10 models ranging from 43-inches at $1,300 to 75-inches at $8,000. With its new offerings, Sony is focused on razor-thin panels and HDR features. Continue reading Sony 4K UHD TV Line Features Thin Panels, HDR and Android

Twitter Homepage Redesign Intends to Increase Visitor Count

In an effort to increase the number of visitors to its site, Twitter has redesigned its homepage, allowing visitors to view content they would otherwise not have access to unless they were logged in. With about 200 million monthly visitors, Twitter wants to improve user engagement by adding a section to its homepage where users can view the most trending tweets or viral content as sorted into different categories such as “Business News,” or “TV Shows & Stars.” Continue reading Twitter Homepage Redesign Intends to Increase Visitor Count

Popcorn Time Circumvents Apple App Store with iOS Installer

The anonymous developers behind Popcorn Time, one of the fastest growing torrent platforms in the world, have figured out a way to get their new app on iPhones and iPads without going through the Apple App Store. Apple’s security team will not approve apps that facilitate copyright infringement, so the developers have created a new software called iOS Installer for Windows. This software will allow people to download the Popcorn Time app without jailbreaking their phones. Continue reading Popcorn Time Circumvents Apple App Store with iOS Installer

New Twitter Feature Offers Workaround to Character Limitation

Twitter has officially launched its “retweet with comment” feature, which enables users to embed a tweet in a tweet — and bypass the social platform’s 140-character limit in the process. This will allow users to share and comment on tweets without the need to shorten the original tweet, while preserving context and meaning. (However, users are not able to embed the full retweet and comment.) The new feature is currently accessible via the Twitter site and iPhone app; an update to the Android app is expected soon. Continue reading New Twitter Feature Offers Workaround to Character Limitation

New Facebook App Intros Collaborative Video and Ad Potential

Facebook recently launched an app called Riff that enables users to create collaborative videos with their network of friends. Each finished project is a composition of short clips that are added to the video as it gets shared among friends — and friends of friends — on social media. For Facebook, Riff is another attempt to further encourage its users to watch and share video content on its social platform as part of a larger ongoing strategy to better leverage advertising opportunities.  Continue reading New Facebook App Intros Collaborative Video and Ad Potential

Spotify Streaming Music Service Now Live for Sony PlayStation

Sony has teamed with streaming music service Spotify to allow gamers to listen to their favorite tunes while playing games. Originally announced in January, Spotify officially joined PlayStation Music this week. While many users may be drawn to the Spotify-powered service, hardcore gamers may be turned off by the idea of replacing a game’s soundtrack and immersive audio effects with unrelated music. However, the companies are targeting the gamers who regularly play their own music in the background while gaming. Continue reading Spotify Streaming Music Service Now Live for Sony PlayStation

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