Super 8’s Official iPhone App is All Sorts of Cool

Super-8J. J. Abrams projects have a reputation of creating cool viral experiences that serve the dual purpose of engaging with fans and spreading the word. Whether it was LOST’s alternate reality games or Cloverfield’s viral marketing campaign, Abrams offered fans hungry for additional information an engaging and rewarding experience. Abrams latest project is Super 8, which hit the theatres this week. As with almost any Abrams project, the web was abuzz with excitement right from the get go. To further fuel the hype for the science fiction inspired by the good old summer flicks of the 80s, Super 8 used innovative strategies like embedding an interactive trailer within Portal 2, besides relying on good old viral campaigns (Scariest Thing I Ever Saw). However, perhaps the most inspired move by Super 8 is its iOS app.

The Super 8 iOS app is quite possibly the coolest official app for a movie, ever. At first glance the iOS app appears to be an old Super 8mm film camera simulator. Simply fire the app and press the red button to start recording retro style footages. You can add filter and lens effects like color, chromatic, black & white, sepia, x-ray, negative and infrared. It also comes with neat “shake” and “scratch-and-dirt” effects. Once you are done, you can review your creations from the projection room. You can either export the films to your computer through iTunes, or directly email them.

Super-8-iPhone-App Super-8-Lens-Effects

However, the coolest bit about the app is its integration with Aurasma, which is a company specializing in augmented reality technologies. To leverage this feature select the AR Lens and point the camera at Super 8 posters. Aurasma will use image recognition to play teaser videos and trailers based upon the poster.

The Super 8 app was initially available as a free download from the iTunes App Store, but now costs $0.99.

Twitter Gets Rid of #Dickbar in iPhone App

Last month, managed to create an uproar over an update to it’s because of an advertising bar, which was quickly termed as #Dickbar. The problem users faced was that it overlapped tweets and mentions and was annoying users.

Twitter

Twitter quickly rolled out a new update which basically made the #Dickbar less annoying, however, people were still not happy with it. Today, Twitter has rolled out a new update which basically removes the #Dickbar completely from the app.

Rather than continue to make changes to the QuickBar as it exists, we removed the bar from the update appearing in the App Store today. We believe there are still significant benefits to increasing awareness of what’s happening outside the home timeline. Evidence of the incredibly high usage metrics for the QuickBar support this. For now, we’re going back to the drawing board to explore the best possible experience for in-app notification and discovery.

Twitter basically removed the #Dickbar temporarily and will continue working on something new which might be release in a future version. However, for now the annoyance is gone. Go ahead and update your Twitter iPhone app to get rid of the #Dickbar.

Why We Need HTML5 Apps To Shut The F UP Out of Fanboys

Well, unlike the title, I am really serious about this. There is a big problem amongst people who use devices and then use apps on it and it is more than apparent today with tech evangelists like Robert Scoble saying that apps are the only way into a system.

Being a software developer and now so called app developer (which I hate as a label) I can tell you that you are wrong about it and so is Scoble because you people don’t understand the fact that developing a single app for 3 different platforms require 3 different developers and more investments. This means that if you can develop an app for the , you will have to spend more to develop it for and Windows Phone 7.

In my entire development career of more than 12 years I have developed software and apps which have worked on every platform because of 2 reasons. I used Java and I used web technologies like PHP to develop my apps, both these apps will run anywhere without a user having to do anything (unless their systems don’t have Java).

Coming back to today, I dreaded the day when my boss asked me to develop an app for the iPhone and Android. Why? Because both these systems are not the same and though Objective-C is the best way to develop apps for Apple related devices, it is not one of my favorite languages structurally and syntactically.

So what do I do? Bail out? No, I convinced my boss to switch to . Why? Because we can reuse the same code on an iOS, or an Android device, or a device or a HP Palm or a RIM device or for any other device for that matter. Period. End of discussion.

I don’t know what Robert or the rest of the world thinks, but creating an app is not easy, and creating that for multiple OS is not easy at all. There are thousands of app developers who want to develop apps for multiple systems but the simple reason is that they can’t do it, don’t know it or can’t afford to invest in developing the apps because they need to HIRE specific developers to do the job. The big shots will do it, but not these smaller developers who have put their everything into learning a particular language or platform.

I know you would say, WTF, why not have a developer that does it all. I would say, hell yea, try hiring a developer that does it all and try getting one of your products right.

The way to go ahead is to use HTML5 to develop apps that can run everywhere. As a developer, who follows Object Oriented Coding, I find it difficult to rewrite the same code to work on different platforms. Of course you might call me stupid and ask me to use Web Services and SOAP. Don’t you think that I already did it?

Tiny Wings Displaces Angry Birds as Top Paid App in App Store

I am not sure since when, but every time I have visited the Top 25 app section in the iTunes App Store, I have always seen as the top app in the paid section, however, it looks like it took another Tiny Bird to displace those Angry Birds.

Tiny Wings - iPhone Game

Tiny Wings is the top paid app in the app store as of today. To be frank, this is the first time I have heard about the app, but climbing to number 1 position is no small feat. The game was released on February 18, 2011 and it took the app 6 days to topple Angry Birds off the top.

Tiny Wings Top iPhone App

Tiny Wings is developed by an individual developer named Andreas Illinger and seems to have leapt out of nowhere to reach the top position. The game play is navigating a tiny bird over hills by jumping, sliding, flapping wings and flying.

Though I haven’t played the game yet, the gameplay sounds fun and I’ll definitely try it out in the near future. I have sent out a note to the developer of the game for his thoughts on this and will update this post once he gets back to me. In the meantime, you can enjoy the top selling game/app; Tiny Wings by visiting the iTunes store.

PayPal for iPhone Now Supports Fundrazr

PayPal has just updated it’s mobile app to include support for Funrazr; a social fundraising solution which provides users with an easy way to raise funds using your PayPal and social networking accounts. The new feature also allows users to share the Fundrazr campaigns with friends.

PayPal Funrazr

In addition to creating new Funrazr campaigns, users can also track the donations against the goals you have created and also monitor all the campaign progress from your phone itself.

PayPal 3.2 for iOS also includes new feature which allows you to reorder your favorite PayPal mobile features in the app allowing you easy access to features such as PayPal local, mobile check capture and other features. You can download the latest app from the app store or use the app store to update your existing app.

Apple Rolls Out App Subscriptions to All Developers

About two weeks back, Apple had launched the Daily iPad app at a press event by News Corp. With The Daily, Apple had also unveiled a new feature – in-app subscriptions, which allowed app developers to offer one-click, recurring subscriptions for their apps. However, it wasn’t available for developers yet.

Today, Apple officially made in-app subscriptions available to all app developers on the App Store. Good news, right? Well, its not that simple. In this announcement, Apple has also mandated that app developers must offer subscriptions through the app, if they are offering subscriptions through other channels. The catch here is, that Apple takes a 30% cut if the user subscribes from within the app, and takes nothing if the user subscribes from outside channels. However, subscribing from within the app will obviously be much more easier for the user, so the revenues of apps offering in app subscriptions will likely be affected negatively. It may also lead to developers jacking up prices, as they will need to account for Apple’s cut while offering subscription based services.

Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app.”

Apple has set a deadline of June 30 for app developers to comply with the new guidelines.

Check out the official press release by Apple here.

News Corp Launches “The Daily” iPad App

“New times demand new journalism,” said Rupert Murdoch at the launch of The Daily, an iPad only newspaper, in New York today. “So we built The Daily completely from scratch — on the most innovative device to come about in my time — the iPad.”

The DailyIt will be a daily newspaper which will be available exclusively on the iPad for now. It is priced at $0.99 per week and $39.99 per year. It will be free for the first 2 weeks though, thanks to Verizon.

It will offer a combination of traditional journalism and technology and will be packed with a lot of interactive multimedia content. It will be updated daily and comes with videos, audio content and will allow users to share content directly via Twitter or Facebook. It also has a built in browser as well as an apps and games section, which is linked directly to the App Store.

With the launch of The Daily, Apple also unveiled a new feature for application developers – in-app subscriptions. Apple will be enabling one-click, in-app subscription pricing for apps on the App Store soon. It would be ideal for media companies who rely on subscription based services. Expect an announcement by Apple on subscription pricing soon. Rupert Murdoch stated that The Daily will be launched on all major tablets eventually.

via The Daily

Get $15000 iTunes Gift Card For Apple’s 10 Billionth App Download; Conditions Apply

Apple recently put up a countdown on their website for the number of apps downloaded from the app store. The countdown is a race to 10 billion app downloads from the Apple Apps store.

Apple App Store Download Counter

To celebrate the feat, Apple is giving away a $10000 iTunes gift card to the person who downloads the 10 billionth app from the app store. However, you could win another $5000 iTunes gift card if you download the FX Photo Studio app by MacPhun.

The additional $5000 gift card was announced by the MacPhun folks on their blog. So if you are the person who downloads the 10 billionth app from the app store and you purchase the FX Photo Studio app, you are set to make a cool $15000 in iTunes gift card.

MacPhun is also willing to give away $1000 if the 10 billionth downloaded app is not the FX Photo Studio, however, the downloaded app has to be an app from the photography category. It could either be a free or paid app.

Considering that the app store counter is already inching towards 9.99 billion, you might want to start warming up to get that 10 billionth download.

Microsoft Launches OneNote For iPhone and iPad; 30th Most Popular Free App

Looks like Microsoft is getting serious about shipping their office suite of products to , and users with the launch of the OneNote app for iPhone today.

OneNote iPhone

OneNote is a note-taking software which is part of the suite. OneNote was already available for the Windows Phone 7 platform and is now available for the iPhone too.

OneNote Top 30 Free App

The OneNote app for iPhone has quickly jumped the ranks and is now the 30th most popular free app on the App Store. The app says that is free for limited time only. The other most popular note-taking app for iPhone has been the Evernote, however, OneNote definitely seems to have the edge over it.

Both the iPhone and iPad are yet to see any significant office suites except for maybe Quick Office. Microsoft’s entry into the iOS for office space will definitely give them a wider range of mobile users who prefer to do their office related work on the go. Though there is no indication whether this will lead to an office suite for iPhone, the instant success of the OneNote app might definitely prompt Microsoft to work towards creating one.

OneNote is free for a limited period only. You can download the OneNote app for your iDevice from here.

Word Lens : Magic Software Translates Languages in Real-time [Videos]

The blogosphere and twitterati are calling it “magic software”. If you think it’s surprising that even in this day and age, with all the capabilities of software, one can still consider some piece of software as magical, then you have to try it out to believe it.

Quest Visual, a startup comprising all of two people, are the ones behind all the buzz.

They have released an iPhone application called “Word Lens”. Word Lens is an Augmented Reality application which does language translation in real-time video. Real-time video translation is a difficult feat especially when done using the computing power of only an iPhone. To top this, Word Lens does not even require any network connectivity. So there is no time lag of getting information from the Internet and then displaying it, which is usually common for Augmented Reality applications.

If you are still not convinced, check out these videos of Otavio Good, one of the founders of Quest Visual , demoing “Word Lens”.

As per Otavio, the application is still in it’s initial version and needs a lot of improvement with text recognition , speed and the number of language it supports.Word Lens is currently supported on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 3G.

It is left to one’s imagination how useful this application can get. Right from reading restaurant menus to road signs, it can become an indispensable tool for tourists.

With plans to be able to look-up the words on say, Wikipedia, read fine-text accurately and support a lot more languages, I think this application which topped the charts on the App Store, sure has a lot of potential.

You can directly download Word Lens for the iPhone from here