Use Wufoo integrations and get your data to your favorite apps.

Category: iOS7

There are 13 posts published under iOS7.

Stories Behind the Apps: Powerslyde


Tell us about your app and the idea! Brett Bauer (BB): My friend Ken Robinson came to me with the original idea behind Powerslyde.  During Christmas, 2011, Ken and his children were on the east coast visiting extended family. All the kids received iDevices as gifts that year. The kids began to download and play apps from iTunes. In a short time, they all started asking the others “what apps do you have?” and tried to search the app store to find the apps.  Even though the kids were all of an age where they could read, they were searching and looking to match the icons. That is where the idea was born.

Ken then came to me with the idea looking for assistance. We spent over two months thinking of what it would look like ultimately, not just as an app, but as a business. Once we determined the path we wanted to take, we worked together to make it a reality. Even though both of us love technology, neither of us could code and so we needed to use outsourced development to begin the process of creation.


How is the app different from similar apps? Ken Robinson (KR): Powerslyde is a unique social app sharing app, it answers the questions what apps do you have and allows you to see and share great apps from your friends and people whom you follow. Powerslyde is different because it helps you find the apps that your friend and influencers actually have on the device.

BB: Powerslyde is social app discovery. It populates the database of apps with the apps that people have taken the time to download and that remain on their device. Our approach was to be anti-piracy and direct people to the app store(s).

One of the things we analyzed was the path that a user went through to download an app, as well as the various means of app discovery. We found that while search ranked first in terms of method used, we knew from experience and research that it was also an inefficient method. The second most used method was referrals from family and friends. While word of mouth is more effective, the greater challenge is remembering the name of the app if you don’t take the time to download it at the time when it is mentioned. So with that in mind, we created a shortcut to the app store to eliminate those barriers and make it easy to find the exact app.

Powerslyde detects the apps installed on a users device. When Powerslyde is running, only the apps that the user has installed on their device are displayed. We respect the privacy rights of the user and allow them to “hide” any app they have installed on their device, that they do not wish to share with their friends.


When a friend installs Powerslyde and they connect with their friends through the app, they are able to see the apps that each other has installed, with the exception of any that they may have hidden from view. They can see all the apps own in common and those they have that are unique. At any point in the process, if they are interested in an app a friend has, they can easily see if it is paid or free, get a description and screen shots or go directly to the app store to download the app.

If they install a new app, their friends are notified through a feed, if their friend recommends an app to them through the sharing mechanism, they also receive a notification in their feed.The networks are created through the tight network of friends and the loose connections created through friends of friends. The entire system is built on human interaction, and the relationships that have been created to emulate real life as much as possible.


Tell us about the design and UI. KR: The icon was truly an experience in creativity our design team at Clockwork couldn’t have done a better job incorporating all the feelings of motion and ease of use into the simple display seen on the device it intones all the freedom of sharing that the app itself does so well. The user interface acts as well as the icon looks. It was designed to put the minimum number of steps needed in order access all the functionality within the app.  We approached our design solely from the user experience and not with a specific user in mind. Our mantra was the simpler the better.

BB: In the end, the final design came about as a result of three factors. First, we had a different name originally for the app we discovered we could not use. We were in love with the name and the icon that was created.  We failed to check to see if it was available. Second, as we were working with contract developers as Ken mentions, there was a second icon that we were presented with that due to time and budget constraints lacked inspiration, was unimaginative and was being forced on us in order to stay on budget – theirs not ours. I was willing to let it slide, Ken wasn’t. He also wasn’t vocalizing his true feelings in meetings, so in a meeting to discuss it with the whole development team, I had to get Ken to open up. He and I knew the designer was capable of much better work, because we had seen it. In the end we agreed to pay the difference to create the icon we knew the designer was capable of. Eric was his name, and he did a fantastic job.


What tools or resources assisted you in building the app? KR: Our first try at making an app out of a simple idea was met with little appreciation from a contract developer…they just could not see reason for the app.  We found this to be the case from most people in the tech field- as they are normally pretty technically efficient they didn’t see app discovery as a problem. But this app was built for the masses which quite frankly need help with even simple functions of today’s powerful smart phones and tablets. Our attorney Yoichiro (Yokum) Taku at WSGR provided the most help in creating the company behind the app and the fantastic design team and technical professionals at Clockwork in Minneapolis provided the right amount of guidance and insight to bring the first version of the app to life.

BB: As Ken mentioned, we used third party contractors. They were a firm that had a reputation for quality.  Quality was a more important criterion than price.  In all there was a fantastic team who were able to understand our vision. They had the bench strength to help us get it done. One of our requirements was that there could be no open source software used in the coding, because we wanted to make sure that we had something original that we could protect if necessary.

What lessons did you learn and went right/wrong with the release? KR: That expert help is quite expensive and on the development side too many voices can cloud the vision.

Being new to the development process was one of the biggest advantage and biggest frustration. As novices in app development we were uninhibited in dreaming up what should be done and not limited by what could be done and we didn’t entirely fit the mold and systems that our development partner had in place. Often times people say “you can’t do that” because they only know what they have done already. We found that this may also have been one of the problems in dreaming bigger than what the team had the limits to develop. In the end a great product was produced and I couldn’t be happier.


BB: First lesson is to make sure the name is available. We spent lots of time building with a placeholder.  Coming up with the first was hard enough. Coming up with a replacement was even more difficult. Next, because of the technical knowledge that the team brought, they were able to execute on a number of things we could not afford to hire for at the time. They allowed us to accomplish a great deal more than we would have been able to left to our own devices, but there are disadvantages in that you lose control of timing. Because they were managing multiple client relationships, the amount of time they were able to commit to our project was less than we wanted and as a result it took much longer than anticipated.

The last lesson, because I was functioning as the leader of the company, I attended many conferences and was fortunate to hear how others had built their businesses and as much as possible take the advice they proffered. One of the greatest was to bring development in house. We did that as soon as we could once we submitted the iOS version of the app.

Development took much longer than anticipated and the complexity of the app was underestimated. The design, UI and UX was designed to be super simple and easy to use. Because of that, the back end was super complex, very robust and required a great deal more time than anticipated. We submitted the app originally in early December 2012 for approval. It wasn’t until early March 2013 that it was approved.

Who is on the team and what are your roles? KR: Brett- CEO,  Andy-CTO, Fred- CFO, Peter- SVP of roduct & Marketing, Ed- Lead Developer, Ken- co founder/ advisor.

BB:  Ken did a good job explaining that, although we have also hired others for short term engagements as needed, typically when we are in development mode.

What were you doing prior to building the app? KR:  Prior to my foray into app development I have been a paperboy, a doughnut maker, a gas station attendant, a US Marine, and airplane mechanic, an avionics technician, a landscaper, and a stay-at-home dad.

BB: I had been in the investment sales for most of my career.  In 2004 I started working with venture backed and early stage companies focusing on capital raising, due diligence and strategy. I was working with early stage companies assisting with due diligence and getting them ready for investment.

What other apps do you use or which inspire you? KR: I’m inspired by simplicity in design and functionality among my favorites: Kahn Academy, Flipboard, Dropbox, and Noteability…and of course Powerslyde.  My current favorite games: Charades by Fat Chicken Studios, Blek by Konabi brothers and Logo Quiz v2.6.  It may be true that the smartphone has eliminated boredom; I’m just not sure that’s entirely a good thing.

BB: I have had a smartphone since the Treo. Of course at the time, you couldn’t get apps easily. For me, the smartphone was a productivity tool and a phone all in one. I don’t believe that has changed.<

Since 2007 when I obtained my first iPhone, there has been a core of apps that I work with. The apps I use most often are the ones I use in daily life – LinkedIn, Starbucks, Delta, my banking apps, IHG, FItbit and dropbox. I would consider these all lifestyle apps even though some are not categorized as such. Since we are constantly meeting developers in our business, I usually download and play their games. A couple of my all time favorites are racing games, anything that is mindless and helps me decompress, like Angry Birds or Plants vs. Zombies.

Head over to the Apple App Store or Google Play to download Powerslyde.

Hey you app devs!  Wanna be featured likePoweslyde? Be sure to check out


The Future is so Bright, I Gotta Use Android

Coke vs. Pepsi, Ford vs. GM, Gates vs. Jobs, Nike vs. Reebok and Android vs. Apple.


Throughout time there have many many high profile corporate competitions, but the battle had always fueled innovation and progress. Like the cola wars and PC battles, the latest battle exists between the two most dominant mobile operating systems, Google’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS.


Apple vs. Android


Having launched first, Apple’s operating system had an advantage in the marketplace. But because of it’s closed platform (like it’s computer OS, the Apple iOS only runs on Apple devices), the sales numbers of devices running Android are destined to outpace and overtake it’s competition. But there is more than just the variety of phones and tablets to keep Android’s future looking bright.


The Power of Google


While Apple has split is innovative efforts on both hardware and software, Google quickly realized it’s true calling was software. Google is one of the biggest players on the Internet, and since smartphones and tablets are basically your mobile gateway to the online world, using its online power to boost the mobile operating system will help Android’s future immensely. One huge advantage that the search giant has is it’s experience in mapping and tracking the world. Until the 6th version of the Apple iOS, Google was the power behind mapping features on both smartphones, with Google Maps. Apple has its own offering now, but Google Maps is still available on both platforms. According to, the debut of mobile map competition only added fuel to the innovative fire. More choices means that Google’s map offerings on Android will have to continue to improve in order to stay competitive.


Test Drive an Android


Another space that Android will continue to innovate is in automobiles. TechTimes discusses the Open Automotive Alliance, which is an initiative to bring the Android platform to cars. The goal is to use collaboration and innovation to make us safer, more connected and to create more outlets for Android. The operating system is already offered on devices from a wide variety of manufacturers.




Storage and data backup is another feature that gives many Android devices an advantage. Apple devices do not include removeable memory. According to, most Android devices are designed wiht additional storage on miniSD cards, giving them the ability to store larger files like video, photos and apps externally, freeing up space on the internal memory and preserving battery life. Pair that ability with cloud solutions like Mozy online backup, which will ensure you do not lose your precious data should your device have issues, and Android becomes a very powerful tool for storing and accessing important information on the go. And that is really the whole point of mobile devices, to give you what you need, when you need it.


YEC Answers: 9 Tips for Developing a New Mobile App

Considering how saturated the app market is, what advice would you give to an entrepreneur developing a new mobile app? -CitizenTEKK

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Identify Factors

This one is simple because I am working on my own mobile app now and have been doing a crazy amount of research in this area. Basically, find the sticky factor and the viral factor. What this means is what makes the end user want to come back and add content on a daily (if not more) basis? Then, after they add their content, what makes them want to share that with their network?

Andrew Vest ( ), Preferling ( )

Entrepreneur at YEC comments at CitizenTEKK

2. Gather Usage Metrics

Due to the overwhelming amount of mobile apps in the market, it is very important that you analyze your app through metrics. Services such as Mixpanel can be integrated into your app to gather important usage data, which can guide you to the compelling portions of your app. Once you identify how and what your users find value in, you can focus on those and remove underutilized features.

Phil Chen ( ), Givit ( )

Entrepreneur guest blogs at CitizenTEKK

3. Deliver Value

In the oversaturated startup and app market, delivering value that users can see, understand and that truly delights is job one. Your app doesn’t have to change your users’ world — but if it makes their live easier or more rich, you may be onto something.

Brendan Mangus ( ), Colorwheel Media Consulting ( )

Brendan Mangus, YEC

4. Think International

App developers have set their benchmarks on the U.S. market, forgetting how quickly Asia, South America and Europe are booming in the mobile space. Create apps that can go global and provide value in more than just one language.

Grant Gordon ( ), Solomon Consulting Group ( )

Grant Gordon of Solomonbi

5. Launch in Test Markets

Launch your app in test markets first. So much of gaining traction in the app store comes down to either being featured or being a top 25 app. The best way to game the system is to test your app out in small regional markets before you launch in the U.S. Work out the bugs and figure out what drives downloads. Don’t launch too early in the U.S.

Adam Lieb ( ), Duxter ( )

Commentator at CitizenTEKK



6. Solve Real-World Problems and Stay Committed Through the Iterations

The app market is indeed saturated. However, most of the apps are poorly built. This is the result of hopefuls building apps just to build one, and this mindset is generally wrong for an entrepreneur. Focus on solving real-world problems you are passionate about. Remember that startups and app development go through iterations. You will not always get it right the first time. Stay committed.

Gideon Kimbrell ( ), CLUBSCORE, INC ( )


7. Solve One Problem Extremely Well

Too many app builders try to solve too many problems at the same time. It’s not about how many features your app has; it’s about how well you’ve been able to perfect the one your app was built for in the first place. Build a clean, beautiful app that executes its main job extremely well. Once you deliver a great user experience, you are already ahead of 90 percent of the competition.

Juha Liikala ( ), Stripped Bare Media ( )

CitizenTEKK hosts discussion from YEC


8. Ensure a Strong PR Launch

When you launch a new app, make sure you make a splash in the media. That requires a significant amount of legwork prior to launching your app. You don’t want to have to pitch a story to media outlets about a product that has been out for months already. Hit the ground running by preparing customized media pitches for specific journalists well in advance of the launch.

Chuck Cohn ( ), Varsity Tutors ( )

Chuck Cohn from YEC


9. Research Trends

App developers should invest a lot of attention in trending technologies, particularly geo-targeted push notifications, cloud/Dropbox integration, social media sharing options, easy transactional features and light battery usage. Although some trends turn out to be just fads, these user-friendly developments are already showing strong staying power.

Phil Laboon (!/eyeflow ), Clear Sky SEO ( )

YEC entrepreneurs


Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Amazon Introduces AWS Activate Services Package To Help Startups Grow Via The Cloud


Amazon’s Web Services department is trying to appeal to startups through the launch of AWS Activate. AWS Activate is a package of resources and materials that are specifically tailored to help young businesses and their cloud-based needs grow. It is expected to intensify the rivalry with Microsoft and Rackspace. AWS includes AWS credits, training, developer support, and a startup community forum that also provides advice and a wide array of “special offers” from third parties. The packages comes in two forms, “Self-Starter,” which any startup can apply for, and “Portfolio,” which specifically reaches out to startups that are involved in accelerators, incubators, or other programs intended to help startups grow.


2. Twitter’s New Comcast Deal Could Have You Watching TV From Tweets


Comcast has just inked a deal with Twitter that puts in the addition of a “See It” button on tweets regarding NBCUniversal shows. The initiative should work as follows – if you’re browsing your feed and see a tweet regarding a NBCUniversal show, you will see a “See It” button. When you click that button, you will be taken to a card that has relevant information about the show, and allows you to DVR or watch the program on TV or online. This partnership will also let Twitters users set reminders for upcoming shows and purchase movie tickets on Fandango. The specifics of this detail, such as when this is to launch, have not been revealed.


3. Flickr App Gains Auto-Upload Feature In iOS 7 Update


Everyone was a bit apprehensive when Flickr was acquired – but, with several major updates including filters and a grid UI just passing over, it seems as though Flickr has had quite a busy seen. Another update for Flickr has just arrived – but this time for the iOS7. iOS7 devices can now upload from the camera roll directly to Flickr servers at full resolution. Sharing is set to private by default, but this can be changed. The Flickr editor will provide tools such as automatic photo straightening, and various other options. And to users worries about clogging up their Flickr storage – Flickr is giving out a free terabyte.


4. World’s First Curved Smartphone Hits South Korea Market


On Thursday, Samsung launched the world’s first smartphone that had a curved display screen. The Galaxy Round, which has a 6.7 inch concave handset made to fit into the curve of a user’s palm, has hit stores in South Korea. Samsung has not provided a date for its global release. Curved screens, which are touted as being lighter and thinner than current display panels are a new and budding interest in the smartphone industry. This new phone is powered by Google’s Android System and features a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor. It is selling for roughly $1,000 American dollars in South Korea.


5. Twitter’s Event Parrot Claims To Be An Experiment In Breaking News Alerts


What is Twitter doing now? A mysterious account called “EventParrot” might be Twitter’s big next thing. EventParrot’s profile promises “direct messages that help you keep up with what’s happening in the world.” This is not the first time that Twitter has tested new features through an account; The Twitter account MagicRecs eventually spawned the automatic suggestion list for twitter users. Although there has been no official verification on EventParrot’s status from Twitter, EventParrot has been snagging thousands of followers, including a large number of Twitter employees and associates. This afternoon, Twitter sent out a DM alerting followers to the kidnapping of Libya’s prime minister.


6. iPhone 6 Said To Feature Display Around 5 Inches; iWatch Is More Than Just A Smartwatch


Reports about the iPhone 6 have all claimed that the iPhone 6 will most likely feature a larger display. Apple is said to be currently screen testing up to 6 inches for its next iPhone. Cantor Fitzgerald’s Brian White reported that his meeting with an unnamed Apple component supplier has convinced him that next year’s iPhone 6 will have a much larger screen. White also says that Apple will soon be launching iWatch, and that the device will be much more than a smartwatch. White describes the iWatch as more than an extension of an iPhone. Instead, he called it a “multi-purpose gateway in allowing consumers to control their home.” The iWatch will reportedly let users control their home through options like changing the temperature and turning lights on and off.


7. Foursquare’s Real-Time Recommendations Now Being Pushed To iOS


This past summer, Forusquare rolled out real-time recommendation features for Android users. Now, this feature is heading to iOS, to a small batch of users, as part of a new software update. Users will see push notifications appear on their iPhones, suggesting places of items of interest, like a cocktail at a specific bar or restaurant. This app also comes with a “nearby” button that lets users keep tabs on which friends are close to them, as well as the friends’ most recent check-ins. Foursquare plans to put this feature “in everyone’s hands” very soon.



Is Apple’s Closed iOS Its Downfall: Perspective of a Leading Android Developer

My friends have been joking that Apple product launches are not 90 minutes, but six months. Speculation on product features finally ended this month with the release of new iPhones and an upgraded iOS 7.


And now that the Apple buzz machine is in neutral, the market has spoken. Apple stock prices dropped 7% after the launch, partly because Apple didn’t offer a phone that was more affordable in China, a key growth market, but also for other reasons.


With the 2007 iPhone launch, Apple redefined the mobile phone from a communication device to a mobile internet device, propelling Apple to becoming the most valuable company in the world (based on market cap).


During the past five years, however, the Android OS has captured 75% of the smart phone market. The development of iPhone and iOS into a minority player closely resembles that of Mac and Mac OS, which has also been marginalized after an initial wild success.


As a leading Android developer, I believe the reason for Apple’s ups and downs is largely due to its ecosystem. Apple’s app store is more closed and regulated, acting as a double-edged sword. Its closed nature has ensured a standard user experience and data security, which has been a key for the iPhone’s initial success. But today, despite a head start, its market growth is significantly slower than Android’s and Apple has clearly missed significant opportunities as the market matured.


Apple still has not opened the home screen, lock screen, or app widget to outside developers. Android has stock home screen and desktop launcher as well, but users can switch to other launcher apps if they want a different or more personalized experience. Initially, people worried that my company, GO Launcher, would be shut down for replacing the stock Android home screen. To the contrary, we were actually honored as one of the handful of companies to demo at the annual Google developers conference, Google I/O, earlier this year.


Based on my experience, Google fundamentally believes that smartphone users don’t want to be limited, and that an open ecosystem can provide more flexibility. This is the philosophy that will make Android a vibrant and long-lasting community.


GO Launcher has hit more than 200 million installs since it was released in 2010. Two other apps, GO SMS Pro and GO Locker, have achieved 50 million installs each. This data makes me believe that the trend of personalization of the smartphone experience – not a closed system that is dictated from up high – is unstoppable.


Built upon a spirit of personalized user experience, GO Launcher is also an open platform. Designers from all over the world can publish home screen themes. There are over 10,000 themes for GO Launcher, and millions of downloads every day. People love to use different themes, lock screen pictures, and customized interaction to make the phone best fit their own personality.


But the iPhone cannot compete, because iOS reserves these features to Apple itself and only updates them when Apple feels there is a need. The user has little say in the arrangement.


There is an old Chinese saying, “the key to their success is also their undoing.” There’s no doubt that iPhone is still an excellent brand and a product in much demand. But the “walled garden” of iOS – so appealing several years ago – is a recipe for losing its competitiveness to the more open Android ecosystem.


We are seeing the story of the PC repeat itself for the mobile phone.


Pandora Radio vs. iTunes Radio: Who Will Come Out On Top?

Pandora Radio launched a greatly revamped version of their app (version 5.0), including a new logo and personalization, on Apple’s App Store in time for the release of iOS7. It’s a daring move for the company since iOS7 also happens to come with iTunes Radio, a Pandora-esque app—how very original. This does beg the question: “Who is going to win out?”


Both are music apps that stream music based on the tastes of the user, but that’s where the similarities stop. Pandora provides users a more immersive experience to users by providing song lyrics and track features (like musical influences). Additionally, it is not limited to certain devices and offers live internet streaming. All of these functions are not available to iTunes Radio.


Despite how Pandora seems to beat out iTunes Radio in many aspects, the latter overcomes Pandora in terms of music library—probably one of the most important attributes of a radio, especially for music junkies. iTunes Radio totes approximately 27 million tracks in contrast to Pandora’s 1 million, and gives the user the opportunity to explore new music through its “featured music” dash. While Pandora wins over iTunes Radio over multiple minute features, it loses in the larger, more essential category, music variety.


What does all this mean? In the end, it all chalks up to what people want from their radio. On one hand, iTunes Radio offers a monstrously large library, a very significant factor to music junkies. On the other hand, Pandora offers cross platform and multi-device syncing and access. While Apple users will find themselves split between iTunes Radio and Pandora, the latter can tap into all other non-Apple markets.


One of the biggest things people look for these days is the convenience of being able to sync and use a piece of software on any device they want. iTunes Radio is definitely a very strong contender with someone who owns an iPhone, iPad, and Macbook. What if one of those items was swapped with a non-Apple product? The notion of being able to conveniently listen to your favorite stations anywhere becomes moot. Pandora can be used on most any smartphone, tablet, and computer available. While iTunes Radio might be, overall, a better radio, Pandora will probably outdo it based on this idea of convenience.


Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Hackers Offered Cash, Booze to Crack iPhone Fingerprint Security


Hackers are excited for Friday’s iPhone 5S release; not because they want the product, but because they want to be the first to hack the fingerprint scanner. A micro venture capital firm joined security researchers in offering $13,000 in cash, as well as alcohol, Bitcoin currency, books, and other prizes to the first hacker to do so. The content is hosted on Arturas Rosenbacher, who donated $10,000 to the hacking competition, says the effort will bring together some of the hacking community’s smartest minds to work towards the common goal of helping Apple identify bugs they might have missed.


An already published problem is the fact that it is possible to bypass the lock screen of iPhones to access photos, email, and other applications. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said that the company was already working on a fix as “Apple takes user security very seriously.”


2. Apple Suppliers to Boost Gold iPhone Production


Apple has asked suppliers to increase production of the gold iPhone 5S by an additional third after seeing strong demand. On Apple’s Hong Kong website, the gold iPhone 5S has already sold out. The gold model is the most popular among pre-orders in Hong Kong, which is a major iPhone market. Another major market is mainland China, which was among the first markets where Apple launched the new iPhones. While stores haven’t disclosed estimated of how many people have showed up, the lines seemed longer than the lines for the iPhone 5 launch.


The iPhone 5C, with its plastic casting and colorful design seemed to be less popular than the 5S in Hong Kong. Most customers seem willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a higher-end smartphone.  28-year-old Chris Wong explained the situation by stating “I think the metal casing looks much better.”


3. Online Piracy of Entertainment Content Keeps Soaring


Although sites like Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu continue to grow and make it easier to legally watch entertainment online, the volume of pirated entertainment also continues to grow, at a faster pace.  In fact, the amount of bandwidth used for copyright infringement accounts for 24% of total Internet bandwidth. The number of people engaged in copyright infringement has also grown; as of January 2013, 327 million users illegally sought copyrighted continent.


This copyright infringement is detrimental to Hollywood studios, music companies, and other industry essentials. The general method employed by such organizations is generally a sponsoring of bills – for example, in 2012, most of the entertainment industry backed SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). However, both acts died in Congress after a massive opposition campaign led by Google, Wikipedia, and other internet giants, as well as a huge negative backlash from the civilian public.


4. Google redesigns logo, homepage


Like many other companies, such as Microsoft and Yahoo, Google has also revamped its official logo. The logo has been changed on Google’s search page and a new menu bar with a smaller range of links on the right side, has been installed. The new logo is flatter than the old, drop-shadowed logo, and is the first change to Google’s logo since 2010. A spokeswoman at Google said that similar changes would slowly be rolled out across all of Google products. This is being done in an attempt for Google to help streamline users’ experience of Google’s services; they hope that by flattening the logo, they remove distractions from the user.


Sarah Rotman, a tech analyst, said that Google’s revamped logo is subtle, as Google depends on loyalty and does not want to make any large changes that would alienate Google’s users.


Although many other changes have made, not all changes are available to all users yet. It is an ongoing process that will finish slowly.


5. Will Google Glass Catch On in the Office?


Christopher Kaeding performed a typical surgery – a knee to ligament reconstruction – while broadcasting his view of the procedure via Google glass. He showed the surgery to local medical students in a nearby conference room, saying that the device allowed him to shift between conversations with students and consultants without having to desterilize his hand. He plans to buy one when they officially come out in 2014. “Glass is first and foremost a consumer device intended for people from all walks of life,” says Chris Dale, Google spokesman. Startup Evernote chief executive officer, Phil Libin, says that Google Glass will likely be used mostly at work.


Google Glass features navigation, speech-to-text transcription, and video. Supervisors can use the gadget to film inspections, technicians who need a reminder can review product manuals; there are so many possible usages for Google Glass, which is why people assume that most Google Glass purchases will be to businesses and government agencies. “There’s the potential with Google Glass for there to be a significant increase in corporate surveillance of employees,” says Frederick Lane III, author of The Naked Employee: How Technology Is Compromising Workplace Privacy. “The amount of information that could be collected is really staggering.”


6. Microsoft commits to ‘many more’ Windows RT tablets


On Thursday, during Microsoft’s 2013 financial analyst meeting, Microsoft executives said that customers should be prepared for “many more Windows RT tablets” in the future. Although Windows RT and The RT-powered Surface had had many negative complains, RT-powered tablets are here to stay, says Microsoft. Terry Myerson, who is the executive VP of all of Microsoft’s operating systems, says that he is looking into exploding commonalities in design, silicon, and interfaces in order to allow a consistent Microsoft experience regardless of platform. Specifically, Myerson said that he held three beliefs: one silicone interface, one API, and all apps for all devices. Al devices should also be cloud-powered with core services powering the device.


7. Microsoft ups iPad-for-Surface trade-in deal

Last week, Microsoft offered $200 store credit to anyone who brought in their iPad to trade it in for a Surface tablet. Now that amount has climbed to $350. However, the process for turning your iPad in is now harder. First, Clover Wireless must determine the value of the old device. Secondly, a new Microsoft devices, such as a Surface tablet must be purchased. Then, Clover needs to be sent the old iPad – after an undisclosed amount of time, Clover will send a prepaid Visa card with the value of the trade-in stored inside of it.

A standards iPad in good condition is worth roughly $285 in rebates, which is less than half of its $599 retail price. The rebate value depends on the make and model of the item being exchanged. If you are interested in trading in your iPad for a Surface tablet, then its good news; the Surface RT starts at $350 for 32-GB. There is no announced expiration date for the deals, but it is questionable whether or not these deals will continue as more and more Surface models are released.



Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Apple’s new iOS7 makes bold statement


Though two new iPhones come out this week, the more dramatic shift in Apple technology might come from the software and not the hardware. iOS7, the new mobile OS, became available on Wednesday. “It is a major upgrade,” said Gerry Purdy, analyist and consultant with Compass Intelligence.  “This is the first big thing that (Apple chief executive) Tim Cook has implemented, which puts all the software and hardware design under one roof, to have a unified experience across products.”


While both new iPhones have both been receiving lukewarm responses, some analysts say that the new OS is the bolder statement from Apple, designed to keep people in the Apple ecosystem. The new OS has a different look and a different feel describes Ramon Llamas, analyst with research firm IDC, who continues by saying that Apple is “asking people to make a leap of faith.”


Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch described iOS7 as a “visual shock… The look is bound to be controversial; Apple has opted for bright, bold colors with more clean lines and far fewer textures, shadows and gradients. There is still some depth to the OS, however, with transparency effects giving a sense of background and foreground elements.”


Apple claims that the new operating system has over 200 new features, including improved multitasking, sharing, new camera apps, more variation for Siri, and iTunes radio. The new software has drawn much attention, as the iPhone launch itself seems to be less grandiose than ones of the past. The iOS7 might actually hurt Apple because it allows people with the iPhone 4 or 5 to get benefits, as they can also upgrade their OS, and therefore reduces the need for people to upgrade their physical device and get an iPhone 5s or 5c.


2. 7 Misses in iOS7


  1. The wallpaper. Some wallpapers make legibility nearly impossible. You have to trial-and-error wallpapers on your phone to see if you can still read the text.
  2. Apple Calendar remains awful.
  3. Folders. You can have more than 9 now; the limit no longer exists, but regardless of how many you have, the maximum number of these apps that will be visible is 9.
  4. Photo streams are still backwards.
  5. Control Center. It’s easy to bring up, hard to get rid of. It doesn’t do well in landscape mode, and it has minimal amounts of text. Generally hard to use.
  6. Sharing stuff.
  7. The keyboard. There has been absolutely no change. Auto-correct is still as terrible as it was pre-iOS7.


3. Obama Petitions FCC to Legalize Cellphone Unlocking


The Obama administration doesn’t think that unlocking your phone and moving to a new carrier should send you to prison. On Tuesday, the administration sent a petition to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) asking it to override a law schedule to take effect on Jan. 26, 2014. This law would make it a crime punishable by up to five years in prison to unlock your cellphone without getting explicit permission from your carrier. Instead, they asked the FCC to make rules that give consumers permission to unlock their phone if they outright own it. This power also extends to tablets and other mobile devices.


4. When Will Samsung Go 64-Bit?


Apple attracted much attention when it revealed the first 64-bit chip for smartphones on Tuesday. Samsung chimed in shortly after, saying that it too, was going to go 64-bit. “Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” said Samsung’s mobile business chief Shin Jong-kyun.


64-bit ARM chips are most likely a 2014 event, according to ARM. Samsung will be hard pressed to get 64-bt chips into Galaxy tablets or phones before next year. When that happens, mobile devices will become competitive with laptops, says ARM. “It will allow tablet-like devices to go from information consuming devices to information creation devices,” ARM’s Bruce said.


5. No Internet? No Problem: Youtube Getting Ready To Let You Watch Videos Offline, On Your Phone


Youtube streams more than 6 billion hours of video per month; soon, this video giant will be available to people regardless of their web connection. Next month, Youtube will let viewers save clips on their phones and other devices for up to 48 hours; these videos will be able to viewed regardless of internet. The videos will still be free and Google will still run ads on these clips.


Youtube announced this via blog post and said it would allow uploaders to opt out of this offline feature. The practical benefit for viewers is that they can now watch videos in places where internet is inaccessible, such as a plane or in a car. This should boost viewing for the site. But, this puts pressure on Youtube’s ads rates because they open up more inventory. Here’s a snippet of Youtube announcing the move:


“We’re always exploring ways to bring more viewers to your content. As part of this effort, later this year we’ll launch a new feature on YouTube’s mobile apps that will help you reach fans — even when they’re not connected to the Internet…


This is part of our ongoing updates to give people more opportunities to enjoy videos and channels on YouTube mobile. Check out the YouTube blog when this launches in November for more details on how this will work for viewers.”


6. Verizon accused of violating FCC rules by blocking Nexus 7 from its 4G LTE network


Verizon has been accused of ignoring the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rules. Jeff Jarvis says that Verizon refused to hook his unlocked Nexus 7 tablet to its LTE network because the device wasn’t “part of [their] lineup and can’t be activated.” This violates the regulations the FCC placed on Verizon in 2008.  (For a quick recap: in 2008, Verizon was slapped with a mandate that made it allow any devices to connect to its LTE network and barred it from blocking any applications on its users’ devices).


The notes given by the FCC are very clear and offer little to no leeway. “So this is not a matter of anything Verizon cannot do,” Jarvis writes. “This is a matter of what Verizon will not do. And that is what makes this a violation of FCC regulations and Verizon’s assurances.”


Verizon says that the Nexus 7 is not yet “Verizon 4G LTE certified” and that it will let customers know when the device passes through certifications. But, the Nexus 7 was launched two months ago, and it’s hard to believe that Verizon is just getting onto it.


7. New Internet Explorer Is 30% Faster Than Other Browsers, Microsoft Says


Though the number of browsers available keep rising, and though Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome keep expanding their consumer base, Internet Explorer is still the most popular web browser. On Wednesday, Microsoft released a “preview version” of IE 11 which, they claim, runs 30% faster than all other browsers.


IE 11 supports multi-touch gestures for touch PC’s. This will be helpful for those buying new Windows 8 touch PC’s and “downgrading” them. They also feature some new tools for developers, like support for developer tools, and a Web standards called WebGL for 3D graphics.


Top Startup and Tech News Today-7 Things You Missed Today

1. IBM Commits an Additional $1 Billion to Linux Innovation


IBM announced at LinuxCon that it would invest $1 billion in Linux and other open source technologies. The hope is that this investment will let clients utilize big data and cloud computing. This is IBM’s second commitment of $1 billion to Linux development. With this announcement came the unveiling of the Power Systems Linux Center initiative in France and the Linux on Power development cloud initiative. Both are intended to expand IBM’s support of Linux open source vendors and applications.


The Linux on Power development cloud initiative is done in hopes of expanding IBM’s Power System Cloud. Users will be allowed to access a no-charge cloud service that will give developments, partners, and clients the ability to “prototype, build, port, and test” their Linux applications. IBM VP of Power Development, Brad McCredie, says that “the era of big data calls for a new approach to IT systems; one that is open, customizable, and designed from the ground up to handle big data and cloud workloads.”


2. How Facebook Stands to Gain by Sharing Its Trade Secrets


Companies used to live by the idea of secrecy, and guard their operations in order to ensure that competitors never gained an advantage. This used to be the method that most corporations employed; however, Facebook changed this game by disclosing a very detailed report on how they ran their data centers, powered their website, and developer their mobile apps.


This 71-page report also details the company’s approach. This includes everything from removing the plastic bezels from their servers to reject app modifications that increase power consumption. This report was published as part of the multi-company effort called to bring the Internet to the next 5 billion. This effort has generally been called a philanthropic effort, and an effort of economic empowerment and human rights, but there is, naturally, plenty to gain from Facebook in terms of opening up huge new markets.


Asides from opening new markets, Facebook has a lot to gain in terms of sharing such information: it makes their own life far easier. If Facebook can get companies thinking how they think, they’ll buy similar materials that Facebook runs on. The less “exotic” and special something is, the cheaper its cost will be. Facebook has a large enough presence that it can easily steer product decisions.


Facebook is not the only company to share their secrets and embrace open-source software; there are many other companies that do the same. But, they are one of the larger companies to do so, and though they stress the charitable nature of their action, there is a clear economic advancement that can be gained from doing so.


3. Iran restores blocks on Facebook, Twitter


Iran’s block on Facebook and Twitter was lifted for several hours. The brief access was a “technical glitch” that was quickly fixed. Those who managed to gain access only gained it for a brief period of time. This points to increasing struggles between groups seeking to have Facebook and other social networking sites unblocked by those working in the Iranian government, who have firm control over Internet access.


Many Facebook and Twitter users in the capital, Tehran, assumed that the brief Internet freedom was the result of a new policy from President Hasan Rouhani. Many people wrote on their social media accounts, praising him for the new openness in Iran. This praise was quickly subdued when the social media sites became no longer available on Tuesday morning.


4. What will iOS7 do for your iDevice?


iOS7, the first operating system designed by Jony Ive, the man behind the physical look and feel of all Apple devices, will be ready for download on Wednesday. But, even if your device is compatible, not all promised 200 new features of iOS7 will be available.


The latest OS brings a serious overhaul of Siri to make her performance more in line with what Android offers via Google Now. Siri can now directly plug into Wikipedia, Twitter, Bing, transit routes, traffic updates, and even the user’s own photo album. But, not all headlines features will function on every Apple device; ultimately, it depends on each device’s processor, RAM, and screen resolution requirements.


Here’s a list of what iOS7 will do for you:

-       Airdrop, a protocol for sharing files over wifi, even when there is no signal, will be coming to the iPhone 5, Touch (5th generation), iPad 4 and iPad Mini.

-       Siri will be updated with a new graphical interface and the ability to tap into Wikipedia and Bing for web searches.

-       iOS7 will include lens filters which will only be available on the iPhone 5 and the iPod touch (fifth generation.) You can now apply effects before you take the photo.

-       iTunes Radio will work across iPhones 4, 4s, and 5, and the iPad 2, 3, 4, and mini.


5. Google buys Bump app for sharing smartphone files


Google has bought  out Bump, the smartphone app that lets you share contacts, pictures, and other data by bumping” smartphones together. Google has bought out the Bump team but is leaving popular Bump application available to users. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to join Google,” Bump co-founder and chief, Lieb, said “Bump and Flock will continue to work as they always have for now; stay tuned for future updates.”


The deal has been reported to have been worth $30-$60 million.


6. AT&T Promises (Again) Not To Disconnect Your Account If It Suspects You Of Illegally Downloading


Even though its copyright warning letter says AT&T will cut users suspected of illegally downloading copyrighted material off from Internet, AT&T says that it will not. The letter warned that illegally downloading was a violation of AT&T Term’s and could result in “a limitation of Internet access or even suspension or termination” of the account.


The letter is a part of the “six strikes plan,” where nation’s ISPs send warnings to those they think are breaking copyright law. This is supposed to be about education and repeat violators are not supposed to be cut off from the Internet; instead they are supposed to be temporarily redirected to another page where they will be required to view educational materials on copyright. AT&T says that the letter in which they warn off cutting people off from internet is simply telling people what could happen should the person be guilty of illegally downloading under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But the six strike warnings are merely allegations, AT&T promises it won’t be closing down anyone’s internet.


7. Google’s AdID to take a bite out of third-party cookies


Google is fed up with the third-party cookies. So, they have a plan called AdID to get rid of them from your online advertising. This plan could upend the $120 billion online advertising business while giving more control over which ads are shown to customers and to Google. An anonymous source at Google says that AdID could give Google a big bump in the company’s online ad business (Google currently controls 1/3 of all online advertising revenue.) “The AdID would be transmitted to advertisers and ad networks that have agreed to basic guidelines, giving consumers more privacy and control over how they browse the Web,” said the anonymous source.


Google, on the other hand, designed that any plans were imminent. “We believe that technological enhancements can improve users’ security while ensuring the Web remains economically viable,” a Google spokesperson told CNET. “We and others have a number of concepts in this area, but they’re all at very early stages.”






iOS7 Revolutionizes the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

The rumors floating around the release of Apples new iPhones, 5s and 5c, have been clarified with today’s press release.


Hardware-wise, the iPhone 5c is essentially a slightly improved version of the iPhone 5, sporting a “beautifully, unapologetically plastic” case, a higher capacity battery, and shares a new front facing camera with that of the 5s; the iPhone 5s, however, offers a greater revamp with faster processors, fingerprint security, and a better camera.  


Underneath its aluminum shell, the iPhone 5s houses the new A7 chip and an M7 motion coprocessor, which work together under the faster 64-bit architecture and allows for maximal use of motion sensing apps. A more advanced security feature is included in the form of a fingerprint identity sensor, providing access only to the owner and to whomever they wish to share the device with.


While the display remains the same, the camera and video recording capabilities of the iPhone 5s exceeds that of all other iPhones. The camera uses a true tone flash, adjusting to lighting conditions, instead of the previously used, monotonous LED flash. Additionally, it allows for burst mode photography for when you want to find the perfect picture of a moving target. The front facing camera is 1.2 MP and allows for 720p HD video recording with a backside illumination sensor—a vast improvement from the VGA quality camera from previous iPhones.


The spec improvements are not the only things that make the new iPhones amazing; the new iOS7 that they come equipped with blow everything else out of the water. All the improvements are made to maximize both the efficiency and user interface of the phones. There are 10 major features attributed to iOS7 : control center, multitasking, Safari, Air Drop, iCamera, Siri, iOS in the car, app store, music & iTunes Radio, and the activation lock.


Previously, users have had to tap on the settings icon and rummage through different categories in order to tinker with the display, WiFi connection, volume, etc. The addition of the control center allows users to simply swipe up from anywhere and having immediate access to all the main parameters available—there’s no need to go through a list of items to change what you want.


Multitasking works to conserve as much energy as possible while being as pragmatic as possible. On the energy conservation front, it adapts to network conditions and coalesces updates. In terms of practicality, it essentially learns the usage patterns of each app and performs background cycles accordingly. For example, if someone were to open Facebook every evening and their mail every 3 hours, the new iPhones will learn to recognize the pattern and get the most updated info from these apps early evening and every 3 hours, respectively. Together with the usage pattern recognition, iOS7 will also open an app and keep it in the background when it expects you to use it.


Safari gets a new interface and new built-in functions from its predecessors. It now has a smart search field, looking for the top URL hits, Google searches, and bookmarks that match the phrase. The search histories have also been cached so that sideways swiping allows you to switch between histories.


Air Drop acts similarly to NFC (near field communication), but less mechanical and more efficient. Normally, NFC requires tapping phones together or creating one-on-one wireless connections for file sharing between devices. The addition of Air Drop allows you to instantly share a file to all proximal friends of your choosing at the same time. The recipient will simply receive an icon and can choose to accept the file or not.


The iCamera app comes with new filter and management features. With a variety of filters available, they can be applied to a picture and alter the ambience, which is all fine and dandy. What it can also do is apply filters before the image is taken, so you will know what it will look like under each filter beforehand. iCamera can also organize photos based on time and location—instead of a stream of images inundating the phone screen, the separation of images offers a sense of meticulousness.


Siri also gets a few nifty upgrades. Its voice changed from her monotonous tone to a more engaging one. Also, Siri can also become a “he!” Users can now switch between female and male voices in various languages, the list of which will be included as time passes. The new Siri will understand a wider range of commands than it previously did allowing for more hands free action. Along with the increased commands, it now integrates Wikipedia and Bing results when being consulted.


iOS7 will be able to work seamlessly with cars with built in screens. One can basically have iOS7 on the car screen. That, coupled with Siri, users can experience a completely hands and eyes free car experience with the new iPhone 5s and 5c.


The app store now includes 2 new categories for searching apps: age range and location. The “age range” category is self-explanatory; it shows apps that are appropriate for different ages from children to teens to adults. The app store can also suggest popular apps based on location, taking the physical environment into account to maximize the user’s experience. Additionally, apps will no longer have countless update notifications—they will do so automatically!


The music app gets a revamp and now has iTunes Radio built in. The main improvement is that it can now access music from the iCloud as well as your music library. iTunes Radio offers a myriad of station suggestions, including trending songs from social media such as Twitter.  Similar to Pandora Radio, one can also create stations based on a song, artist, or genre.


Finally, the activation lock is added for increased security. It works off the “Find My iPhone” app. One of the worst fates of an iPhone user is that their phone is stolen, wiped clean and refurbished for the use of others. With activation lock, this will no longer be the case. In the unfortunate chance that this happens, anyone who turns off “Find My iPhone” or wipes the phone clean will still have to log into the iCloud before being able to reactivate it.


The new iPhone’s iOS7 is, as Tim Cook says, the “biggest change to iOS since the iPhone.” Is his comment befitting of the technological titan? Let us know your thoughts!