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Sunday, 31 July 2011

iPhone Photography Applications at their Best to Serve You

iPhone Photography applications are being search much more than they were before, because of the improvements in iDevices. Photography being my own passion, makes the photography section of App Store my favourite place. Prior to the improvement, now everyone has a beast in their hands too, because of the new technology in the cameras of iPhones. These high functions and support makes iPhone Photography rise to another level indeed. And thus the apps number for iPhone Photography has started to increase from sometime and are much appreciable.
There are hundreds and thousands of apps for iPhone Photography, but being myself a photography, I know which apps serve our needs the best, and hence I tried to compile up a list of all those apps that are really worthy to be installed. Some of these are free, while some are to be bought, but their price is just not more than $2 at most.

You can now find variety of differents apps to serve your need of iPhone Photography. Check these out:
ClassicINSTA
ClassicINSTA turns an iPhone into a perfect instant camera. It reproduces all features of an instant camera, from the operations to the results. Experience the new world of an instant camera!
iTunes Rating: 5/5
Price: Free
iPhone photography
Dash of Color
Dash of Color is another excellent application for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad which can be used to add different colors and effects to photos.
Features:
  • Simple, yet refined user interface
  • NEW Zoom feature!
  • Undo (saves your every move from the very beginning)
  • Paint in color
  • Paint in black & white (to erase)
  • Twitter and email integration
  • Post your photos to our public gallery to share your work and see others!
dash-of-color dash-of-color2
FilterFX
FilterFX is another application which can be used to add different filters like vivid, sepia, black and white, warm and many more to your photos. And the best thing about this app is that its totally free and can be download from iTunes store.
Features:
  • Free of Cost
  • Add 9 different effects to your images
filterfx filterfx-1
Photosynth is another excellent application for iPhone which enable users create panoramic photos and capture 360 degrees in all directions to create spectacular images. Later, you can share these images on different social networks like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and many more.
Features:
  • See your panorama take shape as you capture them
  • Look and capture in all directions with Full-Sphere Panoramas
  • Sharp, high-resolution results with the Advanced Image Stitching Engine
  • Panoramas are always available to view and share from the On-Device Library
  • Zoom, pan, stretch, and view in landscape or portrait with our Immersive Viewer
  • Save as many panoramas as you want and view them online at PHOTOSYNTH.NET
photosynth-1 photosynth-2
BeFunky Photo Editor
Befunky Photo Editor is another useful application for iOS devices which can be used to add different effects to photos and edit them as well. With BeFunky Photo Editor, you can edit photos, apply effects, add frames, save and share them on different social networks.
Features:
  • More than 20 different filters and effects
  • Editing: Crop, Rotate, Adjust Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Hue and Sharpness
  • Real-time preview thumbs: Instantly see what an effect will look like on your photo.
  • Saving & Sharing: save to your camera roll, share on Facebook, Flickr and BeFunky.
befunky befunky-1
Picture Effects Magic
Like all other applications, Picture Effects Magic can be used to add different effects to photos on iPhone. You can easily add effects to your photos, save them and share them with your friends via email, Facebook and other social networks.
Features:
  • Add different effects
  • Full screen support
  • Save and Share images with friends
pem
iQuicksplash is a fun app for iPhone which can be used to splash different colors to your images and convert other colors in the photo to black and white. All you have to do is open the image, select colors you want to splash and you are done.
iquicksplash iquicksplash2
Adobe Photoshop Express is one of the best applications to edit and share photos from your iPhone or iPod Touch. With Adobe Photoshop Express, users can easily add different effects, filters, borders and much more to their photos. You can even create an account on photoshop.com and upload the edited photos and videos online without wasting your device’s storage space.
Features:
  • Basics: Crop, Straighten, Rotate, and Flip
  • Color: Exposure, Saturation, Tint, Black and White, and Contrast
  • Filters: Sketch, Soft Focus, and Sharpen
  • Effects: Vibrant, Pop, Border, Vignette Blur, Warm Vintage, Rainbow, White Glow, and Soft Black and White
  • Borders: Rectangle, Rounded, Oval, Soft Edge, Vignette, Rough Edge, Halftone, and Film Emulsion
ps-1 ps-3
Instagram is an amazingly fun & simple life-sharing app for your iPhone. Snap photos wherever you go to show the world what’s going on in your life. Follow your friends’ photo updates as they move through the world. Select from photo filters that transform regular ol’ photos into works of art you’ll want to keep around forever.
Features:
  • 100% free custom designed filters and borders such as XPro-II, Earlybird and many others.
  • Instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Posterous
  • Unlimited uploads
  • Interact with friends through giving & receiving likes and comments
  • Full iPhone 4 front & back camera support
  • And much much more..
iPhone photography
ShakeItPhoto
ShakeItPhoto is the most realistic instant photo experience for the iPhone. Works just like a real instant camera. Watch the photo develop. Shake your iPhone to make it develop faster. Our Perfect Processing makes your photos look just like the real thing.
iTunes Rating: 4/5
Price: $0.99
iPhone photography
Fitler Mania
Fitler Mania is another excellent iOS application which enable users add different filters to their photos. Other than filters you can add different frames and borders to your images.
Features:
  • It is Free
  • Browse filters by categories
  • Create different frames and borders for your images
  • New Filters are added to the application every week 
filtermania filtermania-1
PhotoForge
PhotoForge is a highly optimized editing and painting application designed for the iPhone and iPod touch. It can be used for image manipulation, retouching, effects, and color correction, as well as a painter’s tool. It is indispensable for creating original artwork, or editing photos on your mobile device.
iTunes Rating: 3.5/5
Price: $2.99
screenshot
Camera+ ​
Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or someone who’s barely touched a camera, Camera+ will make you love taking photos. Everybody has a creative side… Camera+ will help bring that creativity out in you, all with a fun, innovative, and beautiful design.
iTunes Rating: 3.5/5
Price: $1.99
screenshot
Camera Genius
The best way to take, edit and share your photos. Over 40 filters, 14 borders and easy crop. A new user interface makes reviewing your photos a breeze. Camera Genius releases another first: adjustable sized thumbnails! Use the slider to decide how many photos you want to see at once. Also included is a full-screen slide show and the ability to pan and zoom around your photos. All photos are saved to the camera roll for quick syncing with your computer.
iTunes Rating: 4/5
Price: $0.99
screenshot
3D Camera
Create your own 3D photos and easily share them with friends on Facebook and Twitter. First, take left and right photos with the built-in camera or choose two images from your iPhone or iPod touch photo album. Then, view your 3D photo as a grey or color anaglyph (using common red/cyan 3D glasses), a stereogram (no glasses required), or as a wigglegram for a simulated 3D effect. Finally, send your 3D photo to your friends on Facebook and Twitter. It’s as simple as that!
iTunes Rating: 3.5/5
Price: $0.99
screenshot
AutoStitch Panorama
AutoStitch is the only app that can stitch images in any order or arrangement, including vertical, horizontal, or mixed arrangements. It achieves unmatched quality by using full resolution camera images rather than lower-resolution video input.
Price: $0.99
screenshot
iDarkroom
iDarkroom can add amazing effects to your photos. It support six types of effects: color filter, paper, light leak & bokeh, vignette, noise, frame. You can shuffle these effects by just one tap, or choose each type of effect manually.
iTunes Rating: 3.5/5
Price: $0.99
screenshot
Pocketbooth
Turn your iPhone or iPod touch into a vintage photobooth with Pocketbooth: the photobooth that fits in your pocket. Pocketbooth perfectly replicates the intimacy, spontaneity, and hilarity of a traditional photobooth. Take it to your next party and watch as your friends’ inner-divas emerge.
iTunes Rating: 4.5/5
Price: $0.99
screenshot
Photo Booth Classic Plus
Photo Booth Classic Plus is an application that allows you to take a series of 4 shots with your friends to recreate vintage black and white or color Photo Booth strips. Now you can also select existing photos to create Photo Booth strips. Easy upload to Facebook, Twitter and your Camera Roll makes this the perfect photography application for any iPhone user!
iTunes Rating: 3/5
Price: $1.99
iphone photography
I hope these apps were really enough to fill your desire of having a full fledge app dedicated to iPhone Photography, on your iDevice. Do leave a comment below, if you think we have missed an app that is one of best for iPhone Photography.

360: TeliportMe Brings Its Killer Panorama App To Android (Oh, And It Works On Over 200 Phones)

Last November, TechCrunch’s own Sarah Lacy sat down with Vineet Devaiah from “social streetview” startup, Phototour.in, which, at the time, had just received term sheets from a number of high-profile U.S. investors and had recently been awarded the “Top Emerging Technology Company of 2010″ by Nvidia. The startup was the first international, non-funded, under-20-member company to win the award, according to Devaiah.
Since then, Phototour added Academy Award certificate-winner and entrepreneur Bala S. Manian as an advisor (who was honored for “technical achievement” for his contributions to optical technologies used in films, including Star Wars) and has gained more than 47,000 users for the alpha version of its image and panorama crowdsourcing app, “360″, on Android. Users have logged more than 75,000 panoramas in a relatively short period of time,
so, considering the rumors that the iPhone 5 will have a native panorama app, sources tell us that 360 might be a candidate for a potential partnership with Android, so that it can remain neck-in-neck with Apple.
What’s more, Today the startup is officially announcing that it is rebranding as TeliportMe and is bringing 360 out of alpha and into the public sphere in ready-to-wear form. For free. Granted, 360-degree panorama apps for smartphones are nothing new. There are quite a few cool apps and gadgets that have these capabilities on the market, like Occipital’s 360 Panorama, and Microsoft’s Photosynth, to name a few.

In light of this competition, TeliportMe wants to distinguish itself from the field by building a high quality Android app, that works across OEMs. According to Devaiah, panoramic apps tend to be very hardware centric because of their reliance on a smartphone’s camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, RAM, and so on. Because Android relies on so many different OEMs, it becomes a tricky proposition to build a good 360-degree app for Android and is the reason why most panorama apps are built on iOS (thanks to the vertical integration it has with its hardware).
Another obstacle for Android is that only about 20 percent of its smartphones have the processing capability of the iPhone, and as panoramic apps require a lot of image processing during photo stitching, many Android phones don’t have enough RAM to make this possible (at least at speed). Devaiah cited the example of a phone like the HTC wildfire, which has the processing capability lesser than that of an iPhone 2G.
This is where the technology that won the startup the “best emerging tech” award comes into play. TeliportMe brought its photo stitching technology to the Android phone, which to a large extent negates the issues caused due to multiple hardware configurations, allowing it to function smoothly over 200 models of android phones. (The startup has also built a version of its photostitching app that works on the browser, which it will be launching soon.)
So, 360 allows its users to quickly take high quality panoramas, which they can then view on the apps 3D viewer. Users can share panoramas via Facebook and Twitter, as well as view, comment, and “like” photos taken by people all over the world on 360′s public realtime feed. The app also taps into the phone’s location to allow users to discover other people using 360 in close proximity, using its “Around Me” option.
Check out 360 in the Android Marketplace here, and for the 360′s humorous take on “the Google+ guy” dissing other photo apps, check out this video. For more on 360, look out, video below:


Via: TechCrunch

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Fujitsu-Toshiba IS12T Ad, First Windows Phone Mango Commercial

The Fujitsu-Toshiba IS12T is the first smartphone running Windows Phone Mango that was launched. It is a joint effort made by Microsoft, OEM Fujitsu-Toshiba and Japanese carrier KDDI and it looks good so far.


Being the first Windows Phone to run Mango, its commercial is also the first Windows Phone Mango ad to surface on the internet. The clip itself is not made by Microsoft nor the manufacturer but belongs to the carrier KDDI. Needless to say that is shows off all the goodness Mango and Windows Phone in general brings, but it will be interesting to see how the market will react to the new player.



Source: YouTube

Facebook today is launching a "bug bounty" program, Rewards starting at $500 or more

Facebook today is launching a "bug bounty" program where it will pay researchers who find bugs and vulnerabilities in Facebook and report it to the company to be fixed. Developers who find bugs and report them to Facebook through its "Responsible Disclosure Policy" will be rewarded starting $500 or more, with no cap on how big a bounty developers can harvest.
Facebook follows in the footsteps of Google and Mozilla that also have bug bounty programs. Mozilla offers up to $3,000 for bugs found within its open-source software such as Firefox and Google offers between $500 and $1,337 (a number associated with geek lexicon " leet speak" created in the 1980s).

One of the reasons that Facebook became the dominant social network in the Web. 2.0 movement is that it has fostered a developer community that has aggressively built on top of the platform. As such, the bug bounty program is a natural extension of that community.
To qualify for the bounty, developers must adhere to the Responsible Disclosure Policy and find a bug that "could compromise the integrity or privacy of Facebook user data." That includes cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF/XSRF) or remote code injection or any other such known hacking methods or vulnerabilities.
Only one bounty will be awarded per specific bug, starting at $500 with the ability to increase based on the type of bug. Bugs in third-party applictions, websites, corporate infrastructure are not eligible nor are denial of service vulnerabilities or social engineering (phishing) or spam techniques. Essentially, they have to be bugs in the Facebook platform itself and not part of some type of extension, app or add-on.
Here is the Responsible Disclosure Policy from the new White Hat information page for security researchers:
"If you give us a reasonable time to respond to your report before making any information public and make a good faith effort to avoid privacy violations, destruction of data and interruption or degradation of our service during your research, we will not bring any lawsuit against you or ask law enforcement to investigate you."
Facebook_Report_Bug.jpg

Apple has more cash on hand than U.S. government

I don’t know if this is more of a statement on how ridiculously rich Apple has become, or the harsh state of the American economy, but if the math adds up, the U.S. government has an operating balance of $73.768 billion, while the maker of iPhone and various other silky-smooth gadgets has $75.876 billion in the bank according to the last quarterly results. Of course, the economies of international corporations and entire nations vary significantly, making a direct comparison a bit unfair, but it does put things into perspective. As far as worldwide market cap goes, Apple is the second-biggest company in the world, after oil behemoth Exxon Mobil.

The fact that tons of people are willing to buy iPhone products before even knowing what they are just goes to show how much of a mindshare Apple has captured (at very least in the U.S.). It’s really pretty boggling, especially if you aren’t a part of the iCult, but you can’t argue with the amount of success the company has enjoyed. I guess the next step now is for Apple to buy the entire state of California from the U.S. government and make a magical utopian society comprised of self-sufficient space donuts.

DealBurner Notifies You Of Groupon, LivingSocial, Scoutmob Daily Deal Info When You Check-in With Foursquare

With a vast number of daily deals companies vying for your attention, it is often easy to miss out on deals that you are interested in for places that you visit regularly. To try and solve that problem, a service called DealBurner has been launched that lets you know if there are any daily deals at a venue you have checked-in to using Foursquare or Facebook Places.
DealBurner is a relatively straightforward service that sends you a text message when you check-in at a location that is currently offering a daily deal.

It was created by developer Jason Fertel, one of the people behind group messaging app Freespeech. About Foursquare reports that Fertel got the idea for DealBurner when an acquaintance complained that Scoutmob was offering a better discount than Foursquare at a certain location — 50 percent off the entire bill, compared with a free margarita.
Along with Scoutmob, DealBurner lets you know when deals from Groupon Now, LivingSocial Instant, Tenka and other services are available at a location you have checked-in to. This rather clever service currently works when you check-in using Foursquare and Facebook Places.
It will be interesting to see how DealBurner grows, especially after it was revealed that Foursquare has integrated Groupon deals into its app and website. Foursquare also has partnerships with other daily deals services, such as LivingSocial and BuyWithMe.
You can sign up to DealBurner now at the service’s website.

Friday, 29 July 2011

View flash based content on your iPhone or iPad devices with Skyfire's VideoQ

Skyfire has released VideoQ, an inexpensive app that lets iPhone and iPad users do something they've wanted to do for years: play Adobe Flash video. Apple has said repeatedly that it's never going to add this feature to the iOS.
This software developer already makes a web browser with this ability, but its new app costs less and focuses on just video playback.
Skyfire can't modify Apple's Safari browser to enable it to play embedded Flash video, so users have to forward their previously unwatchable videos to the app. They can paste a Web link into the app, email the Web link to their unique VideoQ email address, or install a bookmarklet, which forwards videos to the VideoQ app for later watching.

The company gets around Apple's disapproval of Flash by converting the video to HTML5 on its servers, and then streaming that to the smartphone or tablet. One advantage of this system is that it uses an average of 75% less bandwidth while streaming.
Skyfire VideoQ is available now on the Apple App Store, and the app runs on both the iPhone and iPad. The cost is $1.99.

Amazon inks streaming deal with NBCUniversal


Amazon announced on Thursday that it has inked an agreement with NBCUniversal to provide its subscription customers with access to 1,000 Universal Pictures movies. The deal is in addition to the online retailer’s recent agreement with CBS to offer shows such as Star Trek and Cheers to its customers.

The new content includes films such as Being John Malkovich, Jetsons, Flipper, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Billy Elliott. Amazon is largely expected to release at least one tablet in the coming months, which will provide its customers with near instant access to its Amazon Unbox, Amazon Mp3, Kindle, Cloud Music and Cloud Drive services. Comcast owns 51% of NBCUniversal while General Electric owns the remaining 49%. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read on for the full press release.
Amazon Announces Digital Video License Agreement with NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution
Deal Will Allow Amazon Prime Members to Stream Select Universal Pictures Films

SEATTLE, Jul 28, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) –
Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced a licensing agreement with NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution that will allow Amazon Prime members to stream select Universal Pictures movies through Prime Instant Video. This deal with Amazon will bring the total number of Prime instant videos to more than 9,000 movies and TV shows this summer.
Amazon Prime customers will be able to instantly watch popular Universal movies at no additional cost to their membership. Universal titles available to Prime customers will include Oscar winners such as “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Elizabeth,” and “Gosford Park.” For the kids, there’s “Babe,” “Flipper,” and “Jetsons – The Movie,” as well as other favorites like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “Notting Hill,” “Being John Malkovich”, “Fletch,” and “Billy Elliott.”
“We are very excited to offer Prime members popular Universal films at no additional cost,” said Cameron Janes, director of Amazon Instant Video. “Our customers love movies and now we offer them more than 2,000 movies to choose from with Prime Instant Video.”
Amazon Instant Video is a streaming video service that offers customers more than 90,000 movies and TV shows available to purchase or rent, and with this Universal content included, will offer more than 9,000 movies and TV shows included at no additional cost with an Amazon Prime membership. Customers can instantly watch movies and TV shows from Amazon on a Mac, PC or directly on TV with any of the 300 compatible devices."

Does Apple have any interest in buying Barnes & Noble?

We received a tip from an unproven source claiming to have knowledge of discussions within Apple to possibly purchase Barnes & Noble. While this might seem like a strange move at first, it actually makes a whole lot of sense. Apple would be able to take Barnes & Noble’s vast digital library of books and publications, and fold them into Apple’s own iBooks store. Apple would have no use for the NOOK, and that would likely be discontinued in this scenario.
Apple could then convert some of the brick and mortar Barnes & Noble stores into Apple stores and close the rest. It’s out there, and with a price most likely around $1 billion to $1.5 billion, it might be a stretch (though it would barely make a dent in Apple’s giant pile of cash). It also almost makes too much sense for Apple to do this, said another source of ours, mentioning that Apple doesn’t make moves that appear logical to most outside observers at the time. This unproven source also said that iTunes 11 would be released in September along with iOS 5 and iCloud, and will support reading iBooks on computers as well as textbook purchases and rentals.

Via: BGR.com

Foursquare's Daily Deals Partnerships Going Live This Weekend, Including Groupon

According to reports, the partnership between the daily deals service and location check-in platform Foursquare is launching today in select locations. As reported in late May, the two companies have been in talks and it looks like an accord has finally been reached that will integrate the deals service into the "Explore" tab in the Foursquare app.
It is a big push in Groupon's push for customer acquisition, which the company spends a lot of money on, according to its S-1 it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public. Foursquare has upwards of 10 million registered users and has been aggressively pursuing daily deals a monetization efforts over the past month. The two companies will split revenue from deals acquired through the partnership.


According to Mashable, the Foursquare/Groupon partnership is now available in Chicago and should be coming to all users in the United States and Canada by Sunday. For Foursquare, that will also include the five other daily deals partnerships that that company has made in July, including LivingSocial, Gilt City, zozi, ButWithMe and AT&T Interactive.
Integration with Foursquare and other platforms could be a great deal for not just Groupon but the entire daily deals industry. Think of it like this: with six different options for deals packed into Foursquare's "Explore" tab, it seems like there should always be multiple deals within a users' general vicinity (at least in urban areas).

Groupon Now and Location Services

For Groupon, this is all in addition to its own location offering, Groupon Now, which is also live in Chicago and expected to come to all users in the near future. Groupon Now is a discovery engine for deals in an area that will ping users that are in the vicinity. The example that Groupon uses when describing the offering is of merchants having a slow period of the day (the afternoon, for instance) and offering a deal for a cheap lunch for a couple hours and pinging nearby, possibly hungry, customers. Groupon changed the privacy settings of its mobile app recently to start tracking users' location with the idea of being able to better serve its users by knowing their general location and buying habits.
Though revenue is being shared between Foursquare and Groupon, there is no word on whether data will be transferred from Foursquare to its daily deals partners. User location data is Foursquare's biggest asset and would likely be a target of any partners. Foursquare's privacy policy does state that it will share pertinent data with partners. Here is the pertinent bit from the policy:
Our Partners: In addition to the data sharing described above, we enter into relationships with a variety of businesses and work closely with them. In certain situations, these businesses sell items or provide promotions to you through foursquare's Service. In other situations, foursquare provides services, or sells products jointly with these businesses. You can easily recognize when one of these businesses is associated with your transaction, and we will share your Personal Information that is related to such transactions with that business, unless you have elected not to be solicited by marketing partners during the registration process or through the account settings page.
Will you use daily deals through Foursquare? Are you concerned that Foursquare may be sharing your location data with its six new deals partners?

BBC iPlayer goes global via an iPad app, will cost €7 per month or €50 per year

Similar to how Americans have Hulu, British people have iPlayer, but unlike the garbage on American television, British people enjoy some of the best programming that has ever hit a television screen. Cultural judgements aside, the one bad thing about iPlayer is that it doesn’t work outside the land of fish, chips, and pub culture. Today that changes thanks to an iPad application that will be made available in 11 Western European counties*. To get iPlayer working, you’re going to have to cough up €7 per month or €50 per year, which frankly isn’t that bad considering that you’ll get access to a wealth of documentaries,
the best news programs currently being broadcasted, and of course Top Gear. Now if you’re on the other side of the pond you probably haven’t read this far down the article, but if you have then bravo, you’ll be pleased to know that later this year iPayer will launch in the United States.
This is clearly the future, and frankly you should consider yourself ridiculously lucky if you’re an American because you’ve now got Netflix, Hulu Plus, Spotify, and soon the BBC iPlayer. There’s literally no more need for you to ever purchase another plastic disc to enjoy quality content. Mark Smith, Launch Director of the Global iPlayer at BBC Worldwide, says: “There is at least 1,500 hours of content there from day one, and it will be growing by at least 100 hours a month going forward. Most audiences know the big shows like Top Gear or Doctor Who, but maybe not so much about other shows, so we have been working hard on how we surface that content.”
May we recommend “Russell Brand’s Ponderland”, the original version of “The Office”, “The Thick of It”, which features the most innovative use of swearing the English language has ever been heard, and of course “Skins”, for those who want to remember their drug fueled sex binging teenage years.

* = Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland.

Online Game Company Nexon Launches Facebook Game, ‘MapleStory Adventures’

Online gaming company Nexon has launched a Facebook version of its hugely popular game “MapleStory.” The social version of the game, which is called “MapleStory Adventures,” marks the first time that Nexon has branched out into Facebook games.
“MapleStory Adventures” takes the elements that made “MapleStory” a massive global hit — it has more than 100 million players all over the world — to the Facebook platform. The colorful, anime-style game offers action-orientated gameplay and engaging storylines, just like in “MapleStory.” However, the game has been simplified slightly to allow for shorter bursts of gameplay.

In addition, you can invite your Facebook friends to help you complete quests. Once you have hired your friends, their avatars will appear alongside you as you attack enemies in the game. Also, you can exchange gifts with your Facebook friends so that you can help each other level up and boost energy.
During a closed beta period which lasted 11 days, “MapleStory Adventures” reached the beta cap of 30,000 players extremely quickly and received more than 40,000 Likes on its Facebook Page (it has 93,642 Likes at the time of this writing). In addition, players took part in quests more than 862,000 times and collected 14.2 million items, including gold and other consumable items.
“MapleStory Adventures represents one of Nexon’s top priorities of bringing our most popular games to the biggest audiences,” said Daniel Kim, CEO of Nexon America. “The game brings a whole new action RPG element to the Facebook space, a genre that hasn’t been widely explored on the social gaming platform.”
It seems that Nexon, which was founded in 1994, is planning to take on established Facebook game developers such as Zynga and PopCap Games (which is set to be acquired by Electronic Arts) and try to take a foothold in the social gaming market. Being able to build on 100 million existing players will obviously help “MapleStory Adventures” in becoming a major game on the social network. With more than 750 million monthly active users on Facebook, Nexon has a potentially huge user base waiting to try out the game.
You can check out the game for yourself on Facebook. The open beta of the game will start at 7 p.m. EDT Wednesday.
maplestory adventures screenshot

BlackBerry Messenger 6.0 available today – BBM Social, and new sharing options front and center

After some whispers of a launch, RIM’s instant messenging client BlackBerry Messenger has been updated to version 6.0. Since this has been in beta for awhile now, we’re already well-acquainted with many of the features. First and foremost is BBM Social connectivity, which lets third-party apps interact with BlackBerry Messenger contacts and profiles.
A perfect example might be the Foursquare which was recently updated to show your last check-in on your BBM status. A bunch of other apps are also going to be compatible, incuding one of my favourites, Poynt. Using their location-based search app, you can quickly send restaurant information to friends through BBM. Of course Wikitude will also be available on RIM’s OS 7 devices, so you can see all your BBM buddies in augmented reality; just point your phone’s camera in any direction, and it will show you who’s there. BBM 6.0 has a few other solid features, like sharing location, podcasts, and links with groups of friends, as well as sending native calendar appointments.
With mobile instant messaging clients now a dime-a-dozen, BBM isn’t much of a selling point. Sure, it’s immediate, and enterprises can rest assured that it’s secure, but even something as simple as Google Talk has the same level of native address book integration, and works cross-platform. More focussed third-party options like WhatsApp even make a point to offer group chat and file transfers, leaving BBM to seem closed and limited. For RIM’s sake, I hope the BBM Social SDK will catch on among developers and turn BlackBerry Messenger into more than just another IM client. How successful do you guys figure RIM will be in reaching that goal?
Those of you interested in upgrading will be able to find BBM 6.0 in BlackBerry App World over here.

INFOGRAPHIC: What Kind Of High School Student Stereotype Is Your Favorite Social Network?

If social networks were high school students, what kind of kids would they have been? Who would have been voted most popular, most artistic and most likely to succeed? Would Skype and Facebook have been voted class couple?
Earlier in April we brought you the Social Media Class of 2011 yearbook, but now Google+ has moved to town and shaken up Social Media High. According to this infographic by ClassFinders, If Google+ was a high school student, she’d be the hot new girl that has everyone talking. In just 3 weeks the service has garnered over 18 million users — that’s quite impressive.
There are many kids who are popular when they first start at a new school, but will Google+ manage to hold onto her status? It’s hard to tell since visits to the site have dropped since its launch.
Google+ might be the hot new girl, but she has some other popular service to win over or she’ll be eating lunch alone. Facebook is the typical popular guy, voted most social. Everyone knows him and he knows everyone a little too well, but Google+ will probably stay away from him anyway. Twitter is the blabber mouth who won’t stop talking about anything and everything and Last.fm, like we’d all expect, is most artistic. I wonder if Flickr was a close second? Myspace still hasn’t graduated; he’s the super senior who happened to be the prom king in 8th grade. See how fast popularity fades?
Check out the infographic below to see more.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Google Shopper 1.5 for iPhone shows you where the nearest deals are; US and UK only

Coupons used to be something your mother and grandmother clipped from the Sunday paper while you watched cartoons growing up, but today they’re serious business. Groupon might not have been the first to start the whole internet coupon phenomenon, but they’re certainly the poster child for the movement, with more clones being created than we care to count. One such clone is “Google Shopper”, which just got updated to version 1.5 for the iPhone, and with it comes a whole new way to save you money.
Instead of scrolling through a list of deals available that might be of interest you, which is already cool enough as is, you can now view a map that displays which establishments closest to your present location are offering some sort of sale. Such a feature is sure to make everyone happy, from small business owners who have to compete with big name firms, to consumers who want to buy local and don’t want to have to go all the way across town to get a special price on a dozen donuts from a newly opened bakery. Right now the deals only work in the US and the UK, which means if you’re an indie developer in another country you have the potential to dominate the market if you move fast enough.

offers Google Shopper 1.5 for iPhone shows you  where the nearest deals are; US and UK only
Apps like this highlight do a remarkable job at highlighting the type of unique user experiences mobile phones can provide. The use of GPS and cell triangulation to show you where to shop is something that just 5 years ago would have been deemed an impossible feat to accomplish. Now we just have to wait until the day when you can pay for said discounted goods with your mobile phone. Will it happen in 2012 or will we have to wait a bit longer for financial instituions, credit card issuers, and operators to get their shit together?
Just have to wait and see.

Zynga Teams Up With Tencent To Launch ‘Zynga City,’ Chinese Version Of CityVille

Zynga’s CityVille, the biggest social game on Facebook with more than 90 million monthly players, has taken Facebook by storm and is available in a number of different languages, but the popular social game has yet to hit places that don’t have access to Facebook — at least until now. Zynga has partnered up with Tencent, China’s leading Internet service company, to launch a region-specific version of the game called “Zynga City.”

Zynga City will operate on Tencent’s Open Platform and first launch in beta on Tencent’s Pengyou platform. Following the beta launch, Zynga City will launch on several of Tencent’s platforms including QZone. Recently Tencent has integrated a number of platforms into their service including Pengyou, Weibo, QQ games, QZone and Q+. Zynga is one of the first international social game developers to create a game on Tencent.
Andy Tian, General Manager of Zynga China, spoke on their partnership with Tencent:
As a social game developer, Zynga fully recognizes the value of Tencent’s Open Platform and their professional service capability. CityVille is Zynga’s largest and most popular game and Zynga is proud to partner with the leading open platform in China to bring the innovation and delight of the game to Chinese players. We are excited that a fully localized Zynga City will be introduced to the Chinese audience and look forward to enabling them to connect in a fun, harmonious way.
Zynga City is catered specifically to the Chinese audience. It will include architecture that the audience will recognize and events and competitions related to Chinese holidays and news. The game has culturally relevant features like the ability for users to send street peddlers to their friends’ cities and various quests.
Zynga isn’t completely new to China. The company opened an office in Beijing last year after acquiring the Beijing-based game startup XPD. In August, they released their first game in China called Zynga Texas Poker.
In July, Zynga filed for an IPO and hoped to raise $1 billion dollars with its sales. They’re currently working on expanding their mobile branch and have acquired the Toronto-based mobile app developers, Five Mobile.

Venmo Updates iPhone App, Adds Option To Add Credit Card With Photo, Faster Foursqaure Check-ins And More

Social payments service Venmo has rolled out an update for its iPhone app. New features include an extra security measure, faster Foursquare check-ins and the option to scan your credit card details using the camera on your smartphone.
The app now has a passcode lock feature, which will make it more difficult for anyone who picks up your phone to access the Venmo app. This was the most requested feature among Venmo users for the app.

Faster Foursquare check-ins will allow you to keep track of what you’re spending and where. It will now be easier for you to share payments you make at places by tapping the Venmo checkbox when you check-in.
venmo creditcard  venmo pin
With this update, Venmo has added a cool little feature that lets you add a debit or credit card to your account simply by taking a photo of it. To add a new card, tap the Credit Cards button in your Settings and then tap the “+” button.
Venmo has also made some bug fixes and improvements elsewhere within the app, such as options to manage text and email notifications and improved Facebook Connect integration.
You can check out the latest version of the Venmo app on your iPhone now.