Apps.

Ben Logan
22 October 2013

Smart watches and other wearable technologies certainly seem to have caught the imagination of the industry of late – the XOWi Personal Voice Companion is another entry that could be worth keeping an eye on. The device is a small accessory that can be worn as a necklace or a badge. It pairs with the wearer’s smartphone and interacts via its companion app. As well as voice controls, a large tactile button on the device will allow for easy access to associated apps. Hints have also been dropped that the system will be able to interact with other virtual voice…

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Ben Logan
14 October 2013

Following from the success of their beta testing mode for the Android application earlier this year which saw users drafted in as usability guinea pigs to try out experimental features that could become a part of the final release, Facebook is now set to ask the public to take part in a much earlier testing phase. Facebook announced their new Android alpha testing programme in a recent blog. Christian Legnitto, Mobile Release Engineering lead at Facebook, commented: “We started out with beta as we knew it would be a good balance between testing and usability, but we’d love to get…

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Ben Logan
21 March 2013

Background processes have long been the bane of the computer user, with tasks eating up system resources often for fairly trivial ends, and a new report shows that smartphones are no longer immune to this issue. Recently published research has shown that a shocking seven out of ten smartphone data sessions are not initiated by the user and have a potentially negative impact on user experience. Actix, who conducted the survey, studied data from eight networks across multiple continents and discovered that many applications are making up to ten connections an hour to check for updates. Facebook, Twitter and email…

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Ben Logan
27 February 2013

Already a popular app on tablets, Adobe is now making their Photoshop Touch app available on mobile phones, with a near identical feature set. Familiar Photoshop elements such as layers, filters, selection tools and all the usual adjustments are included, and the user is able to edit high-resolution images up to 12 megapixels with three layers. Images can be edited in either landscape or portrait mode and saved as jpeg, PNG, PSD and PSDX file types, along with the now obligatory ability to immediately share via Facebook, Twitter or Email. From a user experience perspective, those already familiar with Photoshop…

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Ben Logan
8 January 2013

Car manufacturer Ford is taking further steps to integrate modern smartphones with their vehicles using a new SYNC AppLink developer program. The system, which was initially launched in 2007, allowed for the voice control of digital music players in their vehicles – Ford are now looking to increase the functionality of the concept. Speaking on behalf of the company, a representative commented: “Offering voice control so drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road has proven to be popular with our customers. Now, with an even faster adoption rate of smartphones, there is a need…

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Ben Logan
14 June 2012

Popular music streaming service Spotify has just updated their Android app – it now includes Last.fm integration, a selection of new features and a brand new user interface. The slick updated display allows for users to slide between options with ease and offers high resolution artist imagery, upgraded sound options, album art, related artist view and the ability to monitor friend’s playlists. Another fresh addition is the ability of users to control audio playback from the lock-screen of their device, which has long been considered an overdue feature. Those with high end smartphones will also appreciate the support for super…

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