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Posts tagged Apps

Facebook to buy Instagram for $1 Billion

This acquisition is being done partly in cash and part stock. This will see it being kept as a separate brand and continued develop to allow users to upload photos to rival social networks as well as Facebook.

“…For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests…” – Mark Zuckerberg

The app sees 5million new photos per day from 30million users worldwide, with a choice of 17 filters allow users too quickly and easily share photos with friends primarily through the app and Twitter but also supports Facebook, Foursquare and Tumblr a popular blogging site. The app recently launched a version for the popular platform Android moving away from originally being just an app available on iPhones which caused some waves in the iPhone Instagram camp.

Some view Instagram as an app “to make photos look like your granny took them in the 70s” others as a way to make Photoshop style changes whilst out and about as you take the photo rather than having to download it to your computer first and play with it. Currently you cannot view photos in your browser without a direct link nor see peoples profiles, this is only possible through the app. Whatever your view Instagram is clearly here to stay, and to increase its market share in the photo sharing market.

Personally I am a big fan of it (even if it has just been since the Android release) and can’t wait for Facebook to improve it and possibly give it a public web gallery without the use of a third party app.

Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by Simon Gunton. You can follow him on Twitter @Cessle and Instagram (username: Cessle), when he isn’t tweeting he’s usually hiding behind servers.

Easy on demand Back Ups for Windows Phone

Ben Wagner from Ultimate Networx has made yet another handy tool for Windows Phone users, WP7 Easy Backup. The Easy Backup tool does not use any registry hacks or PSK files. It creates easy backups that include Messages, Apps, settings etc. Except for Zune purchases (Videos & Music). I have tested it on the Nokia Lumia 800 & it also has been tested on the HTC HD7 with full success. Unfortunately Zune does not currently allow for on demand Back-ups, the only time back-ups are allowed are when the device goes through an update.  

It’s an easy step by step to create a backup using the WP7 Easy Backup

Step 1) Download the WP7 Easy Backup Tool

Step 2) Extract the Zip folder

Step 3) Open the folder & click on Wp7EasyBackup.exe

Step 4) Click Next

Step 5) Click backup

Please Note: Your Windows Phone must be plugged in and screen unlocked.

During the backup process the phone will reboot into an unusable mode so hang on tight and wait for the backup to complete. It normal would take in-between 5-20 Mins (Depending on the amount of storage is being used on your phone)

Step 6) Back Up complete the phone reboots, you may see a notification on your phone which states that an update failed but that means successful backup.

So what if everything falls apart and you need to restore your device, well its even more simpler to do.

Step 1) Launch application

Step 2) Plug your device and press the restore button and in 5-20mins all your apps and message etc will be restored.

PLEASE not for all music, videos and pictures you will need to sync with Zune afterwards

If you have any questions feel free to drop a comment below.

Halifax Holiday Matchmaker

It’s become a fact of life that our Facebook profiles have a lot of information about who we are and what we like. Halifax Travel Money have created a great Facebook App which harnesses this and matches you to your ideal holiday based on the information in your Facebook profile, it also suggests who you should take with you!

I’m apparently suited to San Francisco, the app also finds places I’d like to eat, drink and have fun while on my San Francisco trip. From a geeky point of view, this app is a great example of how to harness what must be an extensive database of information and then matching that to the wealth of social information from my profile, and it does it pretty damn well!

This isn’t the first time that the Halifax Travel Money app has made an appearance, it was first launched in June 2010 and made a great impression then too, and now it’s back new and improved and is just a fun app to checkout and see what your holiday scrap book might look like!

There are over 17,000 people using the app, and it’s well worth a checkout, even if you’re just curious as to what a tenner will get you – I can get 2.32 loaves of San Francisco Sourdough bread in case you wondered – or just to checkout what the weathers like!

Check out the Halifax Travel Money app!

This is a sponsored post.

Coolest new apps

huawei-s7-android-tablet

Image courtesy of Expansys

With the release of tablet computers for Android, along with the Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet operating system, the market for apps made with tablet PCs in mind is growing rapidly. Though a tablet PC will run standard apps built for mobiles, most of these are designed with phone interfaces and screens in mind so do not use the screen space effectively, often running in a low resolution covering only part of the screen. The greater screen size of a tablet computer means many dedicated tablet PC apps can shine; offering new and better user experiences. These are some of the latest tablet PC apps:

Pulse News is an RSS reader which arranges news stories for mailing list companies and social network updates in a novel manner by stacking them with relevant images to cover the screen in a grid and lets you scroll through them with a flick of a finger. This is a great use of the screen space on a tablet PC and makes the news easy to browse. It runs beautifully using some of Honeycomb’s new tricks for supporting animations which allow the smooth scrolling of text and images. Selecting any of the images by tapping on it instantly opens the news story, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds and even email creating a single, integrated experience. What’s more Pulse News is free. Surprisingly given the age of the desktop PC compared to tablet PCs interfaces like Pulse News are taking them far ahead of what came before for the desktop PC. It will be interesting to see how new ideas like this continue to develop.

CNN are one of the first major news organisations to create their own tablet computer app for news from their sites. It allows you to view news stories in a similar manner to Pulse with rows of images and headlines arranged in a grid and updated in real time. An interesting addition to the app is that it makes news a two way process by adding the iReport feature which lets users upload their own news stories to the iReport user submissions area. As this app is power-hungry it is only available for Honeycomb tablet PCs, older versions of Android will not be able to download it from the Android Market. CNN News is also a free app.

Fuze Meeting is aimed at businesses and anyone who needs to coordinate projects online, offering support for up to three people to video conference in high definition with a host of features to support the meeting. Files can be uploaded and shared easily via the Cloud while desktop contents can be streamed and highlighted with iPoint, the online equivalent of a laser pointer. It also supports chat through all of the major online chat clients. The basic version of the app is free and can be upgraded by registering and paying to allow meetings with more participants, beating even a desktop PC for meetings online.

One of Google’s own apps that benefits the most from tablets is Google Body, the 3D viewer that lets you examine every external and internal part of the human body from any angle. You can zoom in on individual features which are all fully labelled as well as select layers such as bones, muscles, organs or the skin to display. This app will be of educational and general interest to children all the way up to adults and those studying medical subjects. It is also free, making it ideal for teachers to use as an educational tool.

The advance of tablet PCs to the point where they are competing for market share with laptops and even desktop PC is very exciting for the future of apps as the tablet computer gains more processing and graphics power. Recently the investment bank Morgan Stanley estimated that tablet computer sales would increase at least six-fold in the near term, making tablets the place where new ideas will be tried out from many up and coming software companies.

This is a sponsored post.