Google Launches Native YouTube App for iPhone

Earlier this year, we reported that the YouTube app from iOS 6 had been removed due to the end of licensing terms. At that time, Google promised that a native iOS apps was in the works. Today, Google has released a new native YouTube app for iPhone. YouTube had previously been one of the built-in iOS apps since the original iPhone launch.

The app is available via the App Store and is a free download. However, the app does have ads in order to support the “tens of thousands” of new videos. Currently, the app does not support the iPad, but the NY Times reports that a native iPad app is in the works.

For the first time in a native iOS experience, YouTube will show pre-roll adds ahead of its mobile videos. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that with more monetization comes more content. Thanks to mobile ad capabilities baked into its own app, YouTube will unlock tens of thousands of music videos from VEVO and others that were not viewable on the old app.

I have been using the app since last night and really like it. The app’s icon needs a lot of work though.

Review: Boxfish for iPad

Mobile apps have unquestionably made our lives easier and better. From helping us with discovering a new song to new things to do, there’s always an app for that. Meet Boxfish, a new app that highlights what’s actually happening right now on TV by analyzing hundreds of TV channels in real time. Boxfish wants to be the information engine for TV, letting viewers easily discover what’s hot, and also easily alerting them of when topics of interest come up.

How does it work? Boxfish gathers the closed captions from 3,600 cable and local broadcast stations all over the U.S. and indexes and analyses all the data in real time. CEO and founder Eoin Downling gave me a demo of how it works at the Boxfish HQ and I was simply blown away by the technology they are using. The result is presented as a constantly updating stream of trends and topics. Boxfish presents topics from sports, news, business, and celebrity gossip by default as a part of its live feed. Users also have the option to “favorite” their topics. They can also see what’s trending. The app can also be customized to be synced with a TiVo or a DirecTV set-top box. However, there’s no easy way of filtering out channels that a subscriber does not have access to.

I have been playing around with Boxfish for sometime now, and it is the most intriguing app that I have used in the past month. The app can be found overwhelming sometimes, but it is a great app that let’s TV watchers catch up on popular topics. Overall, the idea is very unique and Boxfish is a must have for TV lovers. It is like Twitter for TV. The application is a free download via the App Store [Download Link] and I’m told an iPhone app is on its way.

Boxfish was founded in 2010 in London, and the founders moved to the Bay Area in 2011. The company has raised a $3 million Series A round, which was led by Naya Ventures and T-Venture.

Facebook Releases Much Faster iPhone App

Today, Facebook released a completely rewritten iOS app, which took more than six months of work to build. The brand new app is a native app and is twice as fast. Facebook engineers have also dumped the HTML5-based app and rebuilt it using Objective-C programming to make it perform more like a native iOS app. It was built from the ground up using Apple’s iOS SDK. The app update has already been made available.

“Up until now we’ve looked at scale,” iOS Product Manager Mick says, “but we’ve become aware that while we have a great mobile website, embedding HTML 5 inside an app isn’t what people expect.”

In addition to significant speed improvements, Facebook has also added a bunch of features and tweaks straight from the iOS SDK. New animations and gestures are a nice touch too. One new feature is a “New Stories” banner that pops up at the top of your screen while you browse the News Feed. Another new feature is a gesture that enables easier one-handed browsing when you are browsing a photo.

I have been testing out this brand new version and can already notice significant improvements. Finally! Facebook for iPhone is available for free via the App Store. [Direct Link]

Google Releases Chrome and Google Drive app for iOS

Yesterday, Google announced that it has released a version of Google Chrome for iPhone and iPad. The app is available via the App Store for free. . Macquarie analyst Ben Schacter predicted last month that Google Chrome was coming to iOS. The Chrome browser for iOS offers an “incognito” private browsing mode as well as syncing with the desktop version of Chrome. It also offers Google’s own unique tabbed browsing interface. [Direct Link]

Apple’s App Store rules don’t allow third-party developers to offer their own rendering or JavaScript engines. This means that the iOS version of WebKit must be used by all browsers available in the App Store. But Google’s Chrome for iOS will add its own user interface over Apple’s technical browser rules. Google also released an iOS app for Google Drive.  [App Store]

So wait, you can use Google Chrome on more than 90% of existing iOS device, but only 7.1% Android devices? Who would have thought?

App Store Launches in 32 New Countries

During the WWDC 2012 keynote, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, announced that the App Store would be launching in 32 additional countries this month. That would bring the total number of countries the App Store is available in to 155. As revealed in the country-selection page within the iTunes Store, those 32 new markets are now available. However, Apple has yet to update its support page listing which iTunes Store content is available in which country.

Majority of the new countries are located in Apple’s  African and Asian markets, with the exception of Albania and Ukraine in Europe. The full list of new App Store countries includes: Albania, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.

During the keynote, Cook revealed that the iOS App Store had reached the 3- billion download mark with over $5 billion paid to developers. In addition, there are over 650,000 apps available, 225,000 of which are designed for iPad.

Microsoft Updates Xbox Live App for iOS

Last year, Microsoft released an Xbox Live app for iOS device owners. Now, Microsoft has updated its iOS app that takes the app to version 1.5. The app now allows users to control content on your Xbox from your iPhone or iPod touch. Previously, the app allowed users to access Xbox Live achievements, connect with friends, and change your 3D avatar. Now it lets users “connect, control and discover content” from their iOS devices via a number of new features.

A full list of features can be found below:

What’s New in Version 1.5

iPhone:

  • Use your iPhone with your Xbox to connect, control and discover content on your console. Connect your iPhone for access to a quick list of your most recent console activity. Control your content with play, pause, fast forward and rewind media controls. Find fresh entertainment to play in the new Discover section.
  • Improved Authentication to make it more stable

iPad:

  • Improved Authentication to make it more stable
  • iPad high-resolution images

Facebook Updates iOS Apps for iPad’s Retina Display

Knowing Facebook’s track record for updating their iOS apps, it is a surprise that the company has updated the app for the iPad’s Retina display so quickly! Today, Facebook has released v4.1.1 an update for its native iOS app.

Facebook iPad Retina display

The main addition of this update is the new Retina display graphics for Apple’s latest generation iPad. In addition, options for several new languages have been added. The update has added support for Czech, Danish, Greek, Indonesian, Malaysian, Norwegian (Bokmal), Portuguese (Portugal), and Thai. Also, users who wish to go offline from Facebook chat now have the option to manually appear offline.

Several bugs have been fixed as well. Now a person’s friends list should display all friends. User names will display correctly in photo sets, and profile images should load correctly in groups of people who like a particular Facebook page. Another bug that has been fixed is the cause of the accidental friend request notifications.

The Facebook app is available for free via the App Store.

Amazon Appstore is More Profitable than Android Market (Google Play)

Apple’s iOS is still the top smartphone platform in terms of apps, with over 550,000 apps, while Google’s Android comes a close second with around 400,000 apps in the Android Market.

However, when it comes to generating revenue, iOS is still miles ahead of the Google Play Store. According to Flurry’s research, a top iOS app generates more than 4 times as much revenue than a top Android app on the Play Store.

Surprisingly for us, and humiliatingly for Google, Amazon’s Appstore is much better than the Google Play store in terms of generating revenue from apps. It generates 89% of the revenue generated by iOS apps, and more than thrice the revenue generated by Android apps on the Google Play Store.

Appstore Revenue Comparison

Amazon seems to be having much more success than Google with Android. It has the most popular Android tablet, the most profitable Android App Store. Now you know another reason why Google wants to jump into the tablet fray with its own budget Nexus tablet – it can’t let Amazon milk its Android cow, while it stands on the sidelines.

In the mean time, despite losing the market share war, Apple’s iOS remains the best platform for developers, and hence, users.

iPhoto for iOS, Updates for iMovie and Garageband Now Available on App Store

With the introduction of the new iPad, Apple also introduced iPhoto for iOS, which will be available from today itself. iPhoto for iOS offers a wide choice of photo editing and comparison features, including auto-enhancements such as straightening photos and fixing contrast. Brush palettes offer a number of editing tools including red-eye removal, lighten, sharpen, soften, and darken. iPhoto can handle images up to 19 megapixels.

With iPhoto for iOS, Apple brings Multi-Touch to photography in a breakthrough way. Browse, edit, and share your photos from your iPad or iPhone, like never before – all the powerful tools you need are at your fingertips. And with iCloud, you can share your experiences as stunning photo journals.

Use simple gestures to quickly sort through photos and find your best shots. A powerful set of Multi-Touch tools helps you perfect color and exposure, crop, straighten, and retouch images. Enhance pictures by adding beautiful, Apple-designed effects with just a tap. Or use fingertip brushes to apply adjustments exactly where you want them. In addition to posting photos to Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter, you can beam photos between your iPhone and iPad, stream photos and slideshows to your Apple TV with AirPlay, and use iCloud to publish photo journals to the web to share your stories with friends and family in a whole new way.

The company has kept its promise, and now iPhoto is available for purchase.  The app costs $4.99 and is available via the App Store for purchase. [Direct Link] In addition, iMovie and GarageBand have also been updated, and are a free upgrade for current owners.

 

Apple’s App Store Reaches 25 Billion Downloads

Less than a week ago, we reported that Apple had begun the countdown towards 25 billion App Store downloads. Also, the company is offering a $10,000 gift card to the person who downloaded the 25 billionth app. Today, Apple’s App Store has reached 25 billion downloads since its launch in 2008.

25 billion App Store app downloads

The winner of the promotion is yet to be announced, and will be awarded a $10,000 gift card for the App Store, Mac App Store, or any other ITunes Store content.

Apple’s App Store took a little less than two and a half years to reach 10 billion downloads, and less than six additional months to reach 15 billion downloads. Today’s achievement would reveal that the App Store has seen its last 10 billion downloads occur over a period of just eight months. This would put Apple’s App Store pace at 15 billion downloads per year, which will continue to grow without a doubt. To put this in perspective, it took 8.5 years for the iTunes Store to reach 16 billion song downloads, while it took less than four years for the App Store to hit 25 billion app downloads. Fact: more apps have been downloaded via the App Store than the entire world population (7 billion). In addition, Apple has also paid out over $4 billion to developers. On the other hand, Google is yet to release how much they have paid out to developers.

With that being said, have 25 billion+ apps been downloaded from the Android Market? You know, because it is “winning”.