If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely that your PC is a fine-tuned piece of 64-bit technology, customized to the hilt and purring like a kitten with a belly full of formula. Yup, she’s a beaut, and attacks your daily tasks like a Belgian Police Dog going after a fleeing perp. All is well in the world, until one day when you sit down, fire it up, and realize something is different. That extra bit of snap when programs open is missing, and encoding video seems to take longer than it used to. Even downloading files seems to require more patience than you’re accustomed to exhibiting. It’s at this very moment that you silently say to yourself, “What the FRACK???”
Note: This article was originally featured in the May 2014 issue of the magazine.
Over 30 milion iOS device owners have registered accounts with Instagram, the free and popular photo sharing application that allows you to transform photos with a handful of digital filters and then upload the altered image to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. It's enjoyed almost a cult-like following, and the fact that it's now available for Android isn't sitting well with a select group of silly iPhone users.
Do you live and breathe the Steam platform? Constantly wondering what your Steam friends are up to when you're way from your PC? Do you start to twitch if you don't get your Steam fix every hour on the hour? You should try coffee or Monster or any caffeinated beverage. In the meantime, Valve has found a way to feed your obsession to Steam with a new mobile app for Android and iOS.
For those of you who always dreamed about having your own cloud, Western Digital wants to make your dreams come true with its new WD 2go and WD 2go Pro mobile apps for its My Book Live personal cloud storage solution. The part about dreams is admittedly cheesy (and we're to blame for that one), but as far as the personal cloud goes, that's what Western Digital envisions as you remotely connect to your My Book Live drive from any computer or through your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or compatible Android device.
It doesn't matter which Android smartphone you're rocking in your pocket, so long as it's a modern build of Google's open source OS. If it is, you can stream Netflix on it. The latest version of Netflix for Android adds support for all Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices rather than limiting support to select handsets.
Apple is taking a mulligan on approving what some are calling a 'Gay Cure' app from iTunes after more than 100,000 people signed an online petition to have it removed, The Baltimore Sun reports. The app was created by Exodus International, which has ministries that "provide support for individuals who want to recover from homosexuality," according to the organization's website. So how did it get approved in the first place?
So you really dig this one particular girl, the only problem is her Facebook status reveals she's in a relationship? Or maybe the guy you barely know via Facebook is still married to what's her face, and you just know it's not going to last. It's probably not a good idea to go meddling, but it's easy enough to stalk one or more people you're interested in with developer Dan Loewenherz's new Breakup Notifier App.
More powerful smartphones and the emerging tablet market have both contributed to the uber popularity of mobile apps, but as it turns out, over a quarter (26 percent) of all apps downloaded in 2010 were used just once, according to Localytics, a Boston-based software company.
"Localytics studied the thousands of Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7 apps using its real-time app analytics service," Localytics said. "For all new customers of an app in 2010, Localytics looked for the first time each customer used the app and whether or not there was any follow-up usage through January 26, 2011... The resulting analysis shows that for customers using an app for the first time between January and March, about 22 percent of them never open the app again. In the second and third quarters, the rate of one-time usage is flat at 26 percent. One-time usage grows to over 28 percent in the fourth quarter, but some of those customers may still use the app again in early 2011."
Hit the jump to find out why this might not be a bad thing.
Disney just let go of 200 employees, most of which had been dedicated to the company's console gaming business, in an effort to put more focus on the mobile market and it's easy to see why. According to market research firm Gartner, mobile app store revenue is only forecast to grow 1,000 percent to $58 billion between 2010 and 2014.
That's a lot of pieces of eight, more than a quarter of which will come in 2011. By the end of this year, Gartner figures app store revenue to add up to $15 billion on 17.7 billion downloads, a 117 percent increase from 8.2 billion downloads in 2010.
"Many are wondering if the app frenzy we have been witnessing is just a fashion, and, like many others, it shall pass. We do not think so," said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. "We strongly believe there is a sizable opportunity for application stores in the future. However, applications will have to grow up and deliver a superior experience to the one that a Web-based app will be able to deliver. Native apps will survive the Web enhancements only when they will provide a more personal and richer experience to the 'vanilla' experience that a Web-based app will deliver."
We don't doubt Gartner's prediction. The granddaddy of them all -- Apple's App Store -- just topped 10 billion downloads with a catalog of more than 350,000 apps, and the Android Market is growing at a fast clip as well. Throw in increasingly powerful smartphones and the emerging tablet market, and it's easy to envision the kind of Skrilla Gartner's crystal ball reveals.
It's becoming clear that the geek will inherit the English language. In 2008, Merriam-Webster added "webinar," "fanboy," "malware," "netroots," "pretexting," and other tech terms to the dictionary, and now less than two weeks into 2011, "app" has been selected as the "Word of the Year" by the American Dialect Society, MSNBC reports.
The shortened tech term received 69 votes by linguists in a meeting last Friday in Pittsburgh. "Nom" was also being considered, as were the words "junk," "Wikileaks," and "trend."
"Some years there's a very clear choice," said Allan Metcalf, executive secretary of the American Dialect Society. "I think this past year there wasn't anything clearly dominant. But there's no question 'app' is a very powerful word."
Some previous winners include "information superhighway" (1993), "tweet" (2010), and "Google" (Word of the Decade).