Twilio Aims to Help Businesses Send Photo, Video Messages

The company behind Uber’s driver calls and Airbnb’s text messages is now offering multimedia messages for businesses that want to reach their customers with photos and videos. Twilio’s API enables businesses to run call centers and send voice and text messages through Amazon Web Services for mere pennies. The new multimedia offering will work via MMS, or multimedia messaging service, through contracts with phone carriers in the U.S. and Canada. Continue reading Twilio Aims to Help Businesses Send Photo, Video Messages

Hyperlapse: Produce Time-Lapse Videos with Instagram App

A new app from Instagram makes it possible for users to create high-quality time-lapse videos from their iPhones. Amateur photographers simply click a button to start and stop recording, and then use a single slider to adjust the speed of the frames. The new app relies on data from the smartphone’s built-in gyroscope to perform the image processing, making the videos appear less shaky. Hyperlapse is currently available on iOS, while an Android version is being planned. Continue reading Hyperlapse: Produce Time-Lapse Videos with Instagram App

Twitter and Facebook Are Expanding Into Online Purchasing

Twitter and Facebook users will soon be able to do their online shopping directly from the social networks. The two companies are investing in e-commerce in an effort to keep users on their apps and sites. Twitter acquired CardSpring, a mobile payments infrastructure company, which will allow users to load coupons and discounts to a credit card. Facebook is also testing a new buy button that will open a dialog box to make purchases from Facebook posts. Continue reading Twitter and Facebook Are Expanding Into Online Purchasing

Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

During yesterday’s keynote event at Google I/O, the company unleashed its Android Everywhere strategy and a slew of related announcements. Google envisions us taking the more contextually aware Android mobile OS from place to place through every part of our lives, including our televisions, laptops, vehicles, bodies and workplaces. Major announcements unveiled details regarding Android L (5.0), Android Wear, Android Auto, Android TV, and integrating Android applications into Chromebooks. Continue reading Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

File Sharing Not in Decline, U.S. Consumers Lead the Charge

Despite those who claim a drop in P2P activity, legal pressure and growing popularity of paid services have not led to a decline in file sharing. According to Tru Optik, 300 million users swap files via BitTorrent each month. Tru Optik estimates that more movies and TV shows are downloaded by file sharers than are sold via iTunes, Google Play and Amazon combined. The U.S. accounts for more downloaded media and software than any other country, with the exception of video game downloads in Brazil.

Continue reading File Sharing Not in Decline, U.S. Consumers Lead the Charge

F8: Facebook Introduces Ad Network, App Tools and New Motto

At Facebook’s F8 developer conference in San Francisco, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s newest projects that emphasize app development for third parties. The company’s motto “move fast and break things” has become less relevant as Facebook grows and third party apps rely increasingly on Facebook databases. The new ad network and app development tools will make it easier for third party app developers to create apps with Facebook functions. Continue reading F8: Facebook Introduces Ad Network, App Tools and New Motto

LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

Rather than copying Chromecast to webOS, LG released an open source Connect SDK late last week that integrates media casting, making it easier for developers to bring their apps to connected devices such as Roku streaming boxes, Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV and LG’s own TV sets. By combining existing multiscreen and home sharing protocols such as Google’s Cast SDK, DLNA and DIAL, developers’ mobile apps only need one set of code to work on a variety of big screen devices. Continue reading LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

Microsoft Announces Studio-Grade Skype TX for Broadcasters

Microsoft’s latest messaging tech, Skype TX, integrates high-quality Skype calls into broadcasting. The new product, which bypasses ads and notifications, is studio-grade software that offers improved video and audio quality. It features HD-SDI video output and input, balanced audio output and input, auto aspect ratio conversion, support for multiple calls and API integration. Microsoft envisions TV shows, news programs and live events using Skype TX to connect with people outside of the studio. Continue reading Microsoft Announces Studio-Grade Skype TX for Broadcasters

Android Wear: Google’s Move to Become Key Name in Wearables

Google announced its first operating system for wearable technology yesterday. Android Wear will initially be introduced in smartwatches to feature Google Now reminders, fitness trackers, app notifications from smartphones, and voice capabilities that offer interaction with multiple screens. The company is working with Android partners such as Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung. LG’s upcoming G Watch and Motorola’s Moto 360, for example, will be two early smartwatches featuring the OS. Continue reading Android Wear: Google’s Move to Become Key Name in Wearables

SXSW: Google on Chromecast Sales and SDK for Wearable Tech

During his SXSW keynote in Austin, Texas yesterday, Google SVP of Android, Apps and Chrome, Sundar Pichai said that the company has sold “millions” of its $35 HDMI Chromecast devices since the product’s launch last summer. Pichai’s comments mark the first time anyone from Google has publicly addressed Chromecast sales. Pichai also told the crowd that Chromecast will be available for “many more countries” in the coming weeks, and Google will release an Android SDK for wearable devices. Continue reading SXSW: Google on Chromecast Sales and SDK for Wearable Tech

Task Force on File Formats and Media Interoperability Launches

Key media organizations have announced the launch of the Joint Task Force on File Formats and Media Interoperability, which plans to work with manufacturers, broadcasters, ad agencies, standards organizations and trade associations to develop greater efficiencies and cost savings for the exchange of file-based content. The initial focus will be to collect and analyze requirements for a machine-generated and readable file interchange and delivery spec for the media industry. Continue reading Task Force on File Formats and Media Interoperability Launches

Internet of Things: Technicolor Brings Qeo to AllSeen Alliance

The AllSeen Alliance has announced that Technicolor is joining the organization as a premier member and will contribute its Qeo technology. According to the press release, Technicolor will work with Qualcomm Connected Experiences and the AllSeen Alliance to accelerate the unification of ecosystems related to the “Internet of Things.” Qeo was developed as a secure and future-proof communication framework that enables a user-friendly experience for connected devices and services. Continue reading Internet of Things: Technicolor Brings Qeo to AllSeen Alliance

HPA Retreat: Stadium of the Future? There’s an App for That

Attendees at the Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat in Indian Wells were treated on Wednesday to an in-depth technical description of the most connected sports stadium in the world. James Stellpflug, VP of sports products at media company EVS Broadcast Equipment explained the inner workings of the latest systems currently running at Sporting Park, the home of Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City. Last summer we reported that Sporting Park is becoming a model for stadium technology and fan engagement. Continue reading HPA Retreat: Stadium of the Future? There’s an App for That

Twitter Makes Its Data Available to Academics with New Grant

Through its new Data Grants program, Twitter is opening its archives to academics who want access to the data — and it’s all free. The data goes back to 2006, and social scientists and researchers can submit applications until March 15th to request access to old tweets. Until now, Twitter has only made this data available to partner companies for a fee starting at $500 a month. Twitter previously worked with Johns Hopkins University to predict where flu outbreaks will hit; this project hopes to make similar research possible. Continue reading Twitter Makes Its Data Available to Academics with New Grant

Marvel Comics Launches API Featuring 75 Years of Content

Marvel Comics is launching a beta version of an API and developer platform, which will give developers and fans access to its massive library of comics for building apps. The API will include artwork, character bios, expanded stories and more from the original creators spanning 75 years. There are more than 30,000 comics, 7,000 series and 5,000 creators in the database, and developers can even build mini-apps around their favorite characters, titles and creators. Continue reading Marvel Comics Launches API Featuring 75 Years of Content