Google releases tool to let devs bring Chrome apps to iOS & Android

Google-Apache Cordova-Chrome

After letting us know last month that it was getting ready to release a toolkit to let developers easily bring their Chrome web apps to iOS and Android, today Google released a developer preview of the tool. In its blog post, Google explains the tool is based on open-source framework Apache Cordova, which allows devs to build native apps for iOS and Android using CSS, HTML, and Javascript. It’s also making a lot of its own core Chrome APIs available to developers through the preview. It essentially means devs will be able to bring their Chrome web apps to the App Store and Google Play, but it will also let them build new cross platform apps in CSS, HTML, and Javascript. Google explained how it works: Read more

Google Play app arrives on iOS to stream movies and shows over WiFi

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 4.55.10 PM

Today, Google has released a new application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to allow Google Play users to stream purchased movies and TV shows. You cannot rent or purchase content via this application: you must download it from Google Play on Android or the web and then the purchased titles will be available to stream via this app. The application is only supported in the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom. WiFi is currently required for streaming. The app also allows streaming to the ChromeCast.

Read more

Google Play Music finally hits iOS with a free month of All Access and programmable radio in 21 countries

After much anticipation, Google finally released its native Google Play Music app for iOS today. The All Access and Radio service was originally announced at Google IO in May with the promise that it would be ported to iOS devices a few weeks later. Then it was rumored last month. Well, today it is really here and Google was nice enough to give us a great look at the service yesterday (video above).

Google’s music ecosystem differs greatly from Apple’s and more closely resembles Spotify or Amazon with a focus on the Cloud. On Macs and PCs you can use it through a browser with an interface that is remarkably robust for a webpage, but obviously not quite as responsive as iTunes, especially with local music.

Play millions of songs, instantly, on any device, including all the music you’ve ever bought…from anywhere.

Google’s Music is in the Cloud (mostly) so you can seamlessly move from device to device, though there is a 5 app limit (but no limit on devices with web browser access). You can upload 20,000 songs for free, create playlists and share with friends, listen to your music anywhere there is a web browser or iOS/Android device. Kind of a no-brainer… Read more

BlackBerry announces BBM for iPhone & Android available today with reservation system

Update: The app is now live on the App Store.

After the BBM apps prematurely started rolling out for iPhone and Android and were abruptly pulled late last month, BlackBerry finally confirmed today that it’s officially kicking off the roll out of the apps. In a blog post, the company announced that the BBM apps will be available for both iPhone and Android within the next few hours through the App Store, Google Play, and Samsung’s App Store:

The demand for BBM on Android and BBM on iPhone continues to be amazing. About six million people signed up for information about BBM at BBM.com. As you know, in just seven hours, about one million Android users were using the unreleased version of BBM for Android. What you don’t know is that more than one million people have found creative ways to “side load” BBM on their iPhone. This is incredible.

While the app is available to download starting today, it will utilize a staggered rollout that will see users reserving a spot in line by entering their email address. BlackBerry says users that signed up previously through its website can start using the app immediately, but we’ll have to wait to see how many people sign up today in order to estimate how long the queue will be.  Read more

BlackBerry announces new cloud-based app/user management system for iOS

Don’t count BlackBerry out just yet. In spite of their buyout addition to their buyout offer from Fairfax Capital for $4.7 billion late last month, the telecommunications company today announced plans at the Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Florida, to launch a new cloud-based system for managing users and applications across BlackBerry, Android, and iOS.

The cloud service ambitiously plans to address the ‘bring your own device’ movement while addressing privacy and tech support at ‘less than a cup of coffee a month,’ according to BlackBerry.

Simple and fast deployment. No server hardware or software to install, just register and go.

Administrators can easily manage and secure smartphones and tablets. The simple Web-based admin console will provide easy activation and deployment of BlackBerry, iOS and Android™ smartphones, app management, security policy configuration and compliance monitoring.

Administrators can secure, deploy and manage apps. Administrators will be able to build a catalog of public apps from the App StoreSM, Google Play and the BlackBerry World storefront, and then view app distribution and usage for all users and devices.

End-users can manage their own devices through the self-service console. End-users will be able to easily perform common management tasks such as setting up or changing device passwords and remote wipe and lock without relying on an administrator, giving them independence and saving on helpdesk calls.

Read more

Google Play passes App Store in downloads for the first time, but not revenue

Google-Play-App-Annie-App-Store

According to data from App Annie’s latest download and revenue report, Google Play for the first time surpassed the App Store in app downloads during the second quarter of 2013. While Google was able to move past Apple with about 10 percent more downloads during the three month period, the report notes the App Store brought in nearly 2.3x the amount of revenue.

App Annie says that Google Play’s growth was driven by emerging markets including Brazil, India, and Russia, and while the App Store still leads by revenue, Google Play closed the gap slightly compared to last quarter and years past.

Google Play saw Brazil climb two spots to join India and Russia as another emerging market in the top 5 countries by downloads for Q2 2013…The United States, Japan and United Kingdom remained the leaders in the iOS App Store when looking at revenue generation, and Australia climbed to #4 after a strong Q2. iOS App Store revenue was driven primarily by the United States and Japan, which combined to account for about half of the total iOS App Store revenue in Q2.

App Annie’s report also includes its Games Index tracking mobile games on iOS and Android, which now account for around 40 percent of all downloads on both platforms. During Q2, Gameloft’s Despicable Me: Minion Rush grabbed the top spot for most downloaded iOS game, while publisher Tiny Piece took the honour on Google Play.

As for non-gaming apps, Vine increased by three positions to become the most downloaded app during the quarter on iOS, followed closely by YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram. Read more