Yahoo! has this morning announced that it has reached a deal to acquire popular blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 billion. The company promises “not to screw it up,” and says that Tumblr will continue to operate as a separate business, with David Karp remaining CEO.
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I used to mock Apple years ago because they advertised Apple as the fun alternative to stodgy, boring Windows.
The idea that Apple was fun and Microsoft was not was a misdirection at best. Windows was the biggest games platform and Xbox was the best console game (in my opinion). Apple had no games to speak of.
Five years ago, all that changed: Apple launched the iOS App Store, and it quickly became the biggest games platform ever, now making twice the money as portable game consoles. Apple’s App Store hit right when the casual and mobile games market was ready to take off in a big way.
The Android market is no slouch in the gaming arena, either, and will soon overtake the portable game console market as well.
But the mobile gaming market is still in its infancy. The Android gaming scene is about yesterday’s games — isolated, causal time-killing games, for the most part. So to take it to the next level, Google this week announced Google Play Games Services.
There are two gigantic opportunities that are potentially unique to Google: multi-device gaming and gaming as a mainstream spectator sport.
Earlier this week, Google beat Apple to the punch by launching a streaming subscription music service before Cuperino could unveil its own offering, iRadio.
How did Google managed to do it? Apple has all the music industry clout, so how could Google swing a deal first? Because Google Play Music All Access is essentially a clone of services like Rdio and Spotify, and the contract terms of services like that are easy to copy.
Apple’s iRadio? It’s a wholly different beast.
The Pebble smartwatch was a runaway success on Kickstarter, and backers have been receiving units in the mail for the past several months. Nearly 70,000 Pebbles have been shipped, and today the watch’s SDK has been updated to allow two-way communication between the Pebble and mobile apps. Pebble is encouraging devs to create “watchapps” that can “send and receive data from a connected smartphone app.”
Apps were previously restricted to the Pebble’s basic functions, but now nearly every facet of the watch can be controlled with (and control) a third-party iOS or Android app.
The new Google Hangouts app for Android and iOS is the best messaging service Google’s produced yet, but one thing that will probably prevent it from taking off is its lack of SMS support.
If you tried the Hangouts yesterday you probably noticed the amount of people you can talk to is sparse. That’s because Hangouts only uses Google+ to connect to other humans so all of your friends would have to sign up for Google+ before you can use Hangouts to send them a message.
The dearth of people on Google+ probably means that Hangouts isn’t quite ready to be your go-to messaging app quite yet, however, Google’s Community Manager says SMS integration is coming to Hangouts soon.
Handheld games consoles like the Nintendo 3DS and the Sony PlayStation Vita have long been suffering at the hands of smartphones and tablets. But the latest data from IDC and App Annie should give handheld game developers — including Nintendo — something to really think about.
While consumer spending on Android and iOS continued to rise during the first quarter of 2013, it fell considerably on handhelds.
Rovio really does make its games a worthwhile investment. Angry Birds Seasons is almost two and a half years old now, and it has just received yet another 36 new levels — plus a new power-up — on Android and iOS. That’s not bad for a 99¢ game now, is it.
Android and iOS managed to grab a whopping 92.3% of all smartphone shipments during the first quarter of 2013, with a total of 199.5 million units sold worldwide. There are no prizes for guessing which of the two platforms grabbed the most market share.
Seriously, have you gotten your tickets, yet? Star Trek: Into Darkness is coming this weekend, and it looks like the entire US is heading tot he theater to see it, en masse.
Fandango is having a good run of it, claiming that 71 percent of the pre-release ticket sales are coming through it’s very convenient service, with 32 percent of that traffic coming via mobile apps.
Further, they just told me that 15 percent of the mobile ticket sales through the Fandango app are coming from iPhone users, while 6 percent are coming from the Android mobile app.
It’s strange to think that, till now, as big a high-end audio player as Shure has had no answer to the extravagant, big-gun, flagship in-ear monitor models of its rivals — models like the Ultimate Ears 18 Pro Custom, or the JH Audio JH16 Pro.
But now they do — big time. The new SE846 extends Shure’s highly regarded SE line well beyond the SE535, previously their top, most expensive IEM.