Tag Archives: app

New Uptime Video-Watching App from Google

Watch YouTube videos with your friends via Uptime, a new app from Google. Read the article below from appleinsider.com to find out more.

Google's Uptime for YouTube

Google launches Uptime collaborative YouTube viewing app exclusively for iOS

By Mike Wuerthele

Google’s “Area 120” incubator project has developed Uptime —an iPhone app for watching YouTube videos collaboratively with other users of the app.

Users of the app will see other viewers icons progressing along the video’s progress bar. Users can follow other Uptime users to see what they’re watching, and share clips from the service from within the app.

The app also features live commentary by people watching the video, as well as the ability to like videos, and get daily video recommendations from friends and people you follow.

At present, the app is iOS-only, with no sign of an Android app.

The app itself is currently available on the iOS App Store, and is free, but requires an invite to use. According to TNW, code “PIZZA” can be used to garner an invitation for the service.

The Uptime app came out of Google’s incubator program, first launched formally in 2004.

“We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google,” Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote in 2004, launching the program. “This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner.”

The 20% rule turned into the Area 120 incubation program, which is now helmed by long-time Google executives Don Harrison and Bradley Horowitz. Other 20% projects in the past have included Gmail, and Google News.

Click here to see more from appleinsider.com.

Pokemon Go Makes Nintendo Relevant Again

In this article from salon.com, the author explains how the mobile Pokemon Go game is putting Nintendo back on the map. Read the article below, or click here to see it on salon.com.

Device Pitstop Pokemon Go App from Nintendo
Photo credit YouTube. From the official trailer for Pokemon Go.

“Pokémon Go” may fix what ails a sedentary generation — as well as Nintendo’s bottom line

The app has made Nintendo relevant again for the first time since 2007

By Eric Kaufman

“Pokémon Go,” the viral app that has made Nintendo relevant again for the first time since the release of the Wii in 2007, is being lauded as a means of overcoming social anxiety and a weapon for those who both seek and rage against social justice — even though there’s also evidence it’s a convenient means of luring unassuming teens into dark alleys. It has, however, had a significant impact on Nintendo’s bottom line, adding an estimated $7.5 billion to the company’s market value since the game launched last week.

The app itself is free to download, and most of the revenue will, as is frequently the case with such apps, be generated via in-game micro-transactions, but it is where these micro-transactions will be occurring that could be the key to “Pokémon Go” remaining viable in ways that similarly viral apps, like “Words With Friends,” never could — because like the Wii before it, the app compels users to immerse themselves physically in the game-play; in this case, by forcing them to leaving their homes and wander about the real world searching for Pokémon.

When Wii Tennis was released, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto emphasized the immersiveness of the experience — by combining motor activation with a simple and intuitive control, Wii Tennis was able to bridge the gap between the virtual world depicted on the screen with the physical world in which the game was actually being played. In terms of the experience of playing the game, the boundary between the screen and physical space blurred.

“Pokémon Go” relies on a similar blurring, except instead of limiting it to the distance between the Wii-remote and the console — basically, the size of a very large living room — it is inherently expansive, inasmuch as the app encourages players to seek out rare Pokémon far and wide. Moreover — or dangerously, as the aforementioned teens in Missouri discovered — it encourages players to do so at different times of the day, creating an experience that perpetually changes. After all, the people who frequent a coffeehouse at 10 a.m. are not likely to be the same people who do at 10 p.m., even if they all are now there in search of rare Pokémon.

The effect, then, of the app is that it compels users to exercise in a way that limits the repetition that drives many novice joggers away from the activity — the thought of waking up at the same time every morning to perform the same monotonous activity. Introducing variables into the app is, in “Pokémon Go,” coterminous with the introduction of variety into the lives of its users.

There is also plenty of room for the app to grow, as the version released last week only includes the original 151 creatures from the first generation of Pokémon games. That catalog, as Vox’s German Lopez noted, has since expanded to over 720 creatures, more than enough to keep users happily hunting for years to come.

Or, perhaps, it will go the way of the Wii Fit — slid under a couch somewhere, a good idea that was never fully realized. Nintendo is clearly banking on the former, and its investors, many of whom were likely early adopters of the original Pokémon games, seem to believe they are right to do so.

Click here to see more from salon.com.

Hitch a Ride in Style with the new Lyft Premier

Check out the latest launch from Lyft, Lyft Premier, in this article by techcrunch.com. Read below, or click here to see the article on techcrunch.com.

Device Pitstop Lyft driver with pink mustache
Photo courtesy Lyft.

Lyft’s latest launch is luxury

By John Mannes

Over the coming months, we are going to be seeing a lot more pink mustaches on Audi, BMW, and Mercedes vehicles.

Today, Lyft is launching Lyft Premier. Users will be able to catch rides in luxury sedans and SUVs.

Highly rated drivers with access to high-end vehicles can service rides. The cost premium for Premier rides will earn drivers additional money. Lyft will also be able to take advantage of far higher margins on the new rides.

Lyft drivers are encouraged but not required to offer things like water bottles, phone chargers, and gum to riders to improve the customer experience. Lyft isn’t offering any additional services with Lyft Premier beyond the additional leg room and leather seats of the premium vehicles.

Lyft has been aggressively partnering with companies like Apple to transport employees. The company has been adding in features like seamless expensing for enterprise users. Premier falls in line nicely with what appears to be a growing strategy targeting corporate travel.

Lyft’s largest competitor, Uber, already offers luxury car service. Uber users have complained about longer wait times using UberSELECT and UberBLACK relative to traditional Pool and UberX service. Higher prices for luxury services generally result in fewer riders and drivers. This can make it more difficult to hail down a BMW on the outskirts of a city. Lyft wants to counteract this with scheduled rides. Lyft launched scheduled rides earlier this year to enable users to schedule a timely pickup 24 hours in advance.

Ironically, Uber was founded as a luxury black car-hailing service. The two companies have been swapping punches for years. In the last month Uber has launched a rewards program with Capital One, upfront fares, and ad-free Pandora. Uber has also been steadily increasing its investment in UberEATS for food delivery.

“We were first on scheduled rides, first to request rides on behalf of a third party, first to integrate tipping, and first and only to offer same-day pay for drivers,” said David Baga, Chief Business Officer for Lyft.

Premier will cost a 2X premium over traditional service and rides will be available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City.

Click here to see more from techcrunch.com.

Best Apps for Camping

One of the main purposes of camping is to disconnect from our cell phones in order to connect more with nature. But these apps are worth taking with you on your outdoor adventures. In fact, you may discover that they help you to enjoy camping even more. Read the article below from KOA.com to learn about what they think are the best apps for camping.

The Best Outdoor Apps For Campers

By Katie Jackson

Convenient outdoor apps make ideal travel companions for camper smartphones

With so many apps on the market, it can be hard to separate the good from the bad, the useful from the junk. But don’t worry, we’ve compiled the top outdoor apps you shouldn’t leave home without. From survival skills to stargazing and navigation tools, here are a handful of pay-for-play and free outdoor apps you’ll want on your phone for your next foray outside. Consider this the official app store shopping list for campers!

Pocket Ranger
If you’re looking for the best interactive maps and guides, look no further than the Pocket Ranger App series. Featuring advanced GPS mapping of the country’s top spots, these handy guides feature everything from self-guided tours to permitting information for anglers and hunting enthusiast to up-to-the-minute weather. You can even drop and share waypoints and photos right from the trail! The best part? They’ve got a dedicated outdoor app for every state – and they’re free!

Sky Guide
Keen on celestial sight seeing? In the olden days, stargazers had to tote around bulky telescopes and confusing, outdated constellation maps. These days you can pay $2.99 and download Sky Guide, an astronomy app available on iTunes. Simply hold your phone up and let the app tell you what’s staring down at you from the heavens, and beyond. The app, which has a night vision feature for the darkest of skies, also has a brightness filter allowing you to view the same constellations, meteors, planets and satellites during the daytime. Want to photograph the sun as it’s setting between two peaks? Use the cinematic time controls to discover its up-to-the-minute schedule along with the moon and tidal forecast.

Device Pitstop sky guide app

The fact MotionX-GPS was named the #1 iPhone app by Backpacker Magazine and Best Outdoor app by About.com speaks volumes about its value. For $1.99, users have access to real time topographic maps anywhere in the world. The app even works at sea and features the same marine charts studied by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. With its tracking capabilities and elevation data, it’s also a tool to utilize for recording and analyzing your hiking pursuits. Cache maps and charts you foresee needing and you’ll be able to instantly access them, even when you’re far from a WiFi connection or the nearest cell tower. Want to show of or simply share the wealth? Use the app to check in on Facebook and share your favorite hikes with your friends.

iBird Pro Guide to Birds
Going bird watching but forgot your field guide at home? That’s no problem if you have this popular bird watching app available on iTunes. iBird Pro will set you back $14.99, but what you get for the money is an easy-to-use, encyclopedic resource containing nearly 1,000 species of birds. Use the app’s detailed drawings and professional photography for identifying the distant waterfowl you see on your paddle or the fearless finches that flock to the feeder in your backyard. Search parameters are incredibly specific and include beak shape, wingspan, silhouette and even foot color. The app also contains an extensive database of high quality sound recordings so you can compare and contrast chirps and calls. A Favorites feature even lets users sort their sightings into lists, automatically upload them to Dropbox and share them with other feather-minded friends.

Army Survival
It’s the kind of app you hope you never need. But for the peace of mind alone, the $1.99 price tag is worth it. The Army Survival app available on iTunes is like a digital, easy to digest, version of the U.S. Army Field Manual’s chapters on survival. The app features outdoorsy illustrated how-to’s on everything from building shelters to starting fires, crossing rivers and tying knots. It also comes in handy for identifying medicinal plants, locating water sources and recognizing SOS signals. Even if you never find yourself at the mercy of Mother Nature, it’s nice to head off the beaten path with life-saving knowledge just a swipe or two away.

KOA Camping App
Your connection to nearly 500 KOA campgrounds, our free mobile app is a camping necessity. Find campgrounds near you, search by amenities (hello, swimming pool), or plan your dream destination all from the palm of your hand. Found your perfect campsite? Book directly on your phone, get directions, even store your Value Kard Rewards information to save on your stay! Plus, with our newest addition, Value Kard Reward Savings, this outdoor app lets VKR members save even more with 500,000 offers on everything from restaurants to retail.

Click here to see the article on koa.com