Google Play Music for iPhone updated w/ ability to remove music on-the-go, improved playback, more

It’s been just over a month since the last big update to Google Play Music for iPhone, and today the Google Play Music team is rolling out another update with new features and improvements. The latest release brings the version number to 1.3.2.2559 for those keeping track at home, and adds a handful of new functionality like the ability to remove music from your library via the iPhone app. The update also boasts additional accessibility features which will surely be appreciated as well as fixes for issues with skipping during track playback and eliminating duplicate listings in the music library. You can see the full change log below. Read more

EU accuses Apple of dragging its feet on protections for ‘misleading’ IAP-driven free apps

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The European Commission has complained that Apple is taking too long to implement protections for freemium games in the App Store, reports BBC News. The Commission has decreed that both Apple and Google, the two biggest app store vendors, must make the “true cost of apps” clear before purchase. However, officials are upset that Apple has not yet committed to any such measures.

“Regrettably, no concrete and immediate solutions have been made by Apple to date to address the concerns linked in particular to payment authorisation,” the Commission said in a statement.

“Apple has proposed to address those concerns. However, no firm commitment and no timing have been provided for the implementation of such possible future changes.

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Review: Wiper encrypted messaging/calling app with neat erase feature (and iOS 8 update details)

Yes, another secure and ephemeral messaging app. There’s Wickr, Snapchat, Confide, so what makes Wiper Messenger different? I’ve had the chance to play around with the new free chatting app on iOS, and it seems to act as a fusion of WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Wickr. The app prompts you for your email address or phone number in order to create your account, and then you are brought to a fairly simple interface with three tabs across the bottom: Chats, Contacts, and More. Let’s go tab-by-tab:

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Facebook announces TV Show and Music ID app updates for iOS and Android

facebook-logo According to multiple sources, Facebook will unveil a new service today that can identify television shows and music playing in the background. The new software, which will be available via an updated App Store app on iPhone and a Google Play app on Android, will work in tandem with your smartphone hardware’s microphone. Facebook is said to be integrating the feature so Facebook users can more easily share what music they are listening to or what TV show they are currently watching to their Timelines. In iOS 8, Apple will unveil a new Siri feature in partnership with Shazam to identify songs playing in the background. Update: Official announcement after the break… Read more

MLB At Bat mobile apps adding Chromecast support today for Premium subscribers

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Google announced today on its Chrome blog that Major League Baseball is adding support for its $35 Chromecast streaming stick through the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS. That means that users with the app and an MLB.TV Premium subscription will be able to stream live and on-demand video content from the app (or from a browser tab in Chrome through MLB’s site) to a Chromecast connected TV. You’ll also be able to use the phone or tablet you’re streaming from as a second-screen experience to “check scores, stats and news” while watching the game on the bigger screen: Read more

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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

Google announces Google Play Music and ‘All Access’ streaming coming to iOS in next few weeks

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After launching its new Google Play All Access music streaming service earlier this month at Google I/O, Google’s head of Android Sundar Pichai just confirmed during his interview at the D11 conference that the service will be making its way to iOS. Sundar said the service would be available on iOS in the next few weeks.

Google announced its new ‘All Access’ $9.99/month streaming service as part of Google Play Music at its Google I/O keynote presentation a few weeks ago. The service offers curated playlists, but also allows users to access a radio feature that automatically creates endless radio stations with the ability to remove unwanted songs.

Since launching, the service unofficially arrived on iOS last week via an update to the third-party gMusic client for iPhone and iPad. The app is one of the more popular Google Music clients allowing iOS users to access Google’s music services, but today is the first time Google has confirmed its plans to bring the service to Apple device’s through its own app. Read more