Facebook Remains The Top App Of 2015!

Facebook this year continued to hold the number one position as the top app installed on U.S. smartphones based on the average number of unique users, according to a new report out this week from Nielsen, but its mobile messaging application clocked in as the fastest-growing app of 2015. Having foreseen the shift from more public social networking to private communications, Facebook forced users to install Messenger in spring 2014 by ripping out chat from its main app. In the months since, the app has soared to the top of the App Store’s charts. Over 2015, Messenger grew more than any other app, the new report says – with a 31 percent increase in users from 2014.

That’s slower growth than Messenger saw in 2014, when it rose 242 percent over the year prior thanks to Facebook’s huge push. The question now will be whether or not Facebook can do the same for its next most-promising creation, the private photo-sharing app Moments which is now replacing photo-syncing on Facebook’s social network.

Also in the running for fastest-growing app was Apple Music, which saw a 26 percent year-over-year climb. However, that’s a bit of different situation from Messenger, given that Apple’s streaming music service only launched this June.

In terms of the top apps by users, Facebook led the way with more than 126 million average unique users each month, up 8 percent over last year where it was also the top app. And YouTube was hot on its heels with 97 million average unique users each month, up 5 percent over last year.

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2015/12/18/nielsen-facebook-remains-the-top-app-of-2015-but-messenger-was-the-fastest-growing/?ncid=rss

5 REASONS THE LG V10 IS THE BEST ANDROID CAMERA SMARTPHONE AVAILABLE

5 REASONS THE LG V10 IS THE BEST ANDROID CAMERA SMARTPHONE AVAILABLE

With full manual controls and dual front-facing camera, you can really express your creativity with the V10.

They say the best camera is the one you have on you, and if you have the LG V10, you have the most powerful camera phone in your pocket. I’m bummed I haven’t yet reviewed the LG V10 since its debut in early October, but while I may not have time for a full, benchmark-laden rundown, I did bring it with me on a recent trip to try out all the new camera features.

LG’s V10 is essentially a souped-up version of its exceptional counterpart, the G4. It’s slightly bigger and features a few extras, like a gimmicky second screen and rugged build qualities, but it’s the rear- and front-facing camera capabilities that are particularly impressive. The V10 is yet another reminder of how smartphones have managed to negate the need for a separate point-and-shoot, or even a DSLR in some situations.

The V10 is, by far, the best Android camera phone on the market right now.

If you’re a photography or video enthusiast and you need a smartphone that can keep up with your wiley, life-logging ways, the V10 was made for you. LG packed it with a ton of manual features, and even a few fun photography modes, so that you don’t have to spend time customizing the device to do what you want to do. You’ll still have to invest in editing software to get some of the results you’re looking for, but that’s just a fraction of the work involved in producing pretty pictures. The most important part is that you have a smartphone with capable hardware.

I’m curious, too, if LG’s smartphone releases this year and its inclusion of manual controls will continue to inspire manufacturers to make their flagship devices more photography-centric in the next generation. The Galaxy S6 and One M9 both offer manual controls of sorts, but again, they don’t offer as many options as the V10. It’s possible that this will remain a niche category, since not everyone is into the idea of spending the time to adjust settings before snapping a photo, but it’s also nice to know you don’t have to lug around a giant DSLR and an entire briefcase of lenses to take a neat long exposure shot.

This story, “5 reasons the LG V10 is the best Android camera smartphone available ” was originally published by Greenbot.

Source: http://www.itnews.com/… FLORENCE IONStaff Writer

Google Play Store publishes lists of the best apps and best games of 2015

Google Play Store publishes lists of the best apps and best games of 2015

Even some Google competitors made the list, with Microsoft Word and Amazon’s Twitch among the honorees. Let the year-end roundups begin. Google is fully on board with this phenomenon, back again with the annual list of the best apps and games for the Play Store.The ”Best Apps” list is a mashup of well-known titles and newcomers. Usual suspects like Twitter, SwiftKey, Instacart, and Trulia are included along with Robinhood, a free stock-trading app that quickly became popular. But Google also sought out to show some love to indie apps like Nova Launcher, Action Launcher 3, and My Very Hungry Caterpillar.And even though Google offers Google Docs, credit went to Microsoft Word and Office Lens. Twitch was another honoree, which competes with Google’s new YouTube Gaming.

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On the games front Google lauded a mixture of titles, with the popular Alphabear, Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft, and Fallout Shelter joining newcomer titles like Prune and Crossy Road.

This year’s Play Store awards also calls attention to the larger amount of entertainment content available, with collections of the top-selling musicmovies, books, and TV shows.

Along with highlighting the top sellers, Google called out its favorite selections from the Google Play Newsstand and Play Books offerings.

We don’t know how these lists were generated, exactly, but it appears to be a programmatic approach based on the apps rating and downloads, rather than human-curated. Supposedly, the lists offer a few different options based on the region you’re accessing it from, too.

The impact on you: This list is a good way to discover a new game to play over the weekend or find a neat app that you might have otherwise missed. Even with all of Google’s efforts to increase app discovery, it can still be a challenge to find the good stuff that’s hidden amongst all the clutter.

Source: http://www.greenbot.com/article/3012084/android/google-play-store-publishes-lists-of-the-best-apps-and-best-games-of-2015.html

Apple iOS 9.0.2 Has Three New Nasty Surprises

Apple iOS 9.0.2 Has Three New Nasty Surprises

It’s time to call it: iOS 9 has had a rough start. Despite its impressive new features, the platform has needed two dedicated bug patches in as many weeks. But not only have these patches failed to fix all the problems, it turns out they are introducing a whole host of new surprises along the way…

Problem #1: Broken Notifications

Yes, this is a doozy. Multiple sources are reporting iPhones, iPads and even iPod touches are giving no audible or vibration alerts for new notifications. This is across both default Apple apps and third party apps. Called out examples include Mail, Gmail, WhatsApp, Facebook FB +1.08%, and even reminders…

Problem #2: Hanging Email

While those not getting email notifications are frustrated, they are lucky compared to the 27,000 strong Apple Support Communities thread which says they are not receiving their emails at all.

Affected users can see new emails have arrived but when they try to open them nothing happens and they get a pop-up saying “message not yet downloaded from server”. Contacting me directly one of the affected users pointed out the bug even impacts deleted emails in both the sent and trash folders…

Problem #3: iMessage Failures

Finally this Reddit thread piles on the misery of iPhone owners with numerous users reporting iMessage on iOS 9.0.2 don’t work. Instead an iMessage eventually times out and is sent as a text message instead. Customers across Sprint, Verizon, AT&TT +0.00%, T-Mobile even Telus in Canada are all reporting the issue with claims Apple and T-Mobile are now admitting the problem exists…

 

Source: www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/10/09/apple-ios-9-0-2-three-more-problems/

iOS 9 Review

iOS 9 Review

iOS 9 Review: A Powerful iPad Experience And Many Refinements Make iOS Flow Better

Apple has been releasing major iOS updates every year for the past eight years, and it doesn’t look like the company is going to slow down any time soon. iOS 9 once again brings many improvements, both small and large, including many subtle refinements that make your iPhone and iPad feel better and get things done faster. I’ve been playing with the update for more than a month now; here’s what you should be looking for.

Proactive Assistance

Better Spotlight

iPad Multitasking

Content Blockers

News [new app!]

Notes

Maps

Apple Pay

Performance Optimization

Security

 

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/16/ios-9-review/

iOS 9 Review: A Powerful iPad Experience And Many Refinements Make iOS Flow Better

iOS 9 Review: A Powerful iPad Experience And Many Refinements Make iOS Flow Better

iOS 9 Review: A Powerful iPad Experience And Many Refinements Make iOS Flow Better

Apple has been releasing major iOS updates every year for the past eight years, and it doesn’t look like the company is going to slow down any time soon. iOS 9 once again brings many improvements, both small and large, including many subtle refinements that make your iPhone and iPad feel better and get things done faster. I’ve been playing with the update for more than a month now; here’s what you should be looking for.
Proactive Assistance
Until now, the company has very rarely added “smart” features to its mobile operating system other than Siri.
Now, it seems like Apple is going all in when it comes to making your smartphone smarter. And it starts with Spotlight. You can now call up the search screen by pulling down on the home screen or by swiping to the left of your first home screen.

Spotlight
You can now search for sports scores, weather conditions and stock prices without having to say anything. You can also use Spotlight as a ubiquitous calculator. Finally, when you search for a contact name, you don’t need to jump to the address book as you can initiate a call or a message directly from the search results

iPad Multitasking
Apple wants to differentiate the iPad as much as possible from the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus. So there are three iPad-exclusive multitasking features in iOS 9:
Slide Over lets you open a second app in a drawer-like interface. It’s great to send a quick message, or check your emails while you are doing something else. You just need to swipe your finger from the right edge of the screen to launch a second app on top of the existing app. This feature is available on the iPad Air, Air 2, Mini 2, Mini 3, and the recently announced Mini 4 and iPad Pro.
Split View is a different beast. Instead of running an app on top of your existing app, you can run two apps side by side. You can copy and paste things from one app to the other, scroll through your emails and browse the web at the same time, and more. You decide if you want to split your screen in two halves or if you want a smaller one third app. Due to the memory requirements, Split View is only available on the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4 and iPad Pro.
Apple has also added picture in picture video playback. It’s a great way to watch a baseball game and do something else on your iPad. Picture in picture also supports FaceTime calls.

Content Blockers
Whether publishers like it or not, ad blockers are already hugely popular on OS X. People are using ad blockers in Safari and in other browsers, and it makes sense to bring this feature to iOS. When you install a content blocker on iOS, you don’t see any ad in Safari.
I’ve played with a few ad blockers already, and it dramatically changes Safari. Things are much snappier, websites load nearly instantly on a good connection, you use less data. There’s no way anyone is going to try an ad blocker and remove it later. As an added benefit, ad blocking also improves your privacy

News
The News app is Apple’s second take on news reading. The Newsstand is gone, now it’s all about optimizing your content for the News app. When you first launch this app, you have to pick a few topics and news sources to create a collection of stories tailored to your interests.
You then get a feed of articles in the News app and in Spotlight. When you open an article, you can like it or save it for later. The reading views are clean and change based on the publication.

Notes
In the Notes app, you can now make checklists, embed photos and draw sketches in the Notes app. You can also add links. In other words, Notes is no longer a text-only app, it’s a rich-text editor

Maps
After acquiring Embark and Hopstop, Maps is rolling out transit systems, starting with New York City and London. When you plan an itinerary, Maps takes into account trains, subways, buses and walking.

Apple Pay
iOS 9 also brings a couple of new features: you can now store your rewards cards in the Passbook app, which is now called Wallet.
This is an interesting feature as these loyalty cards can help you build a habit, and you might end up using Apple Pay every time you need to pay for your coffee

Security
Apple has taken a few measures to improve security. By default, iOS now asks you to set up a 6-digit passcode. By moving away from 4-digit passcodes, the company has increased the number of possibilities from around a 10,000 to a million.

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/16/ios-9-review/#.j0nioy:Ls01