Personal cloud app Younity preps for iTunes streaming update

younity 650

Personal cloud app Younity is preparing for a large update, which will allow users to stream their premium iTunes content to their devices without syncing or downloading the content ahead of time. In this fast-paced, always-five-minutes-behind world, it’s hard to remember to stock your iPhone or iPad with movies before a flight or long trip, or even sync your library between devices.

Now, Younity users will be able to instantly access all of their premium iTunes content, like full-length feature movies, even if they forget and are nowhere near their home PC.

“Our users love the ability to unify and stream media from all their computers, but they’ve been asking us to solve the problem of watching purchased iTunes videos for a while now,” says Erik Caso, Co-Founder and CEO of Younity. “It’s always nice to deliver on a promise that we’ll keep working to unify the huge content libraries we all have in our households.”

In addition to this iTunes update, which will officially hit tomorrow (July 1), Younity already allows users to access all of their media and files on the go, from iTunes playlists to photos, with support for typically “unusable” file formats like WMA or OGG. Users are encouraged to add as many computers, laptops or external hard drives as they’d like to this personal cloud, as users can access and search all files regardless of device.

Younity’s personal cloud solution promises privacy, as files aren’t stored online and no one but the user (or someone the user authorizes) can access them.

This is just the first of many eventual updates for Younity, as the company promises to further address user concerns for “better video discovery, access and sharing” going forward.

Younity is available to download for free on iOS.


Inside Mobile Apps

Personal cloud app Younity preps for iTunes streaming update

younity 650

Personal cloud app Younity is preparing for a large update, which will allow users to stream their premium iTunes content to their devices without syncing or downloading the content ahead of time. In this fast-paced, always-five-minutes-behind world, it’s hard to remember to stock your iPhone or iPad with movies before a flight or long trip, or even sync your library between devices.

Now, Younity users will be able to instantly access all of their premium iTunes content, like full-length feature movies, even if they forget and are nowhere near their home PC.

“Our users love the ability to unify and stream media from all their computers, but they’ve been asking us to solve the problem of watching purchased iTunes videos for a while now,” says Erik Caso, Co-Founder and CEO of Younity. “It’s always nice to deliver on a promise that we’ll keep working to unify the huge content libraries we all have in our households.”

In addition to this iTunes update, which will officially hit tomorrow (July 1), Younity already allows users to access all of their media and files on the go, from iTunes playlists to photos, with support for typically “unusable” file formats like WMA or OGG. Users are encouraged to add as many computers, laptops or external hard drives as they’d like to this personal cloud, as users can access and search all files regardless of device.

Younity’s personal cloud solution promises privacy, as files aren’t stored online and no one but the user (or someone the user authorizes) can access them.

This is just the first of many eventual updates for Younity, as the company promises to further address user concerns for “better video discovery, access and sharing” going forward.

Younity is available to download for free on iOS.


Inside Mobile Apps

You can buy a gold-plated iPhone engraved with Vladimir Putin’s face for $4,300

putin

Valdimir Putin is getting the same distinction as Steve Jobs, Muhammad Ali, and Leonardo da Vinci from Caviar, an Italian luxury brand that recently designed a special gold-plated iPhone in honor of the Russian president.

According to Caviar, “President Vladimir Putin has become a symbol of a new generation, strong-willed and a decisive leader… Caviar jewelers chose him as among the most important figures of our time.” As noted by Caviar, Putin was named Person of the Year by The Times International.

After annexing Crimea, Putin’s approval rating skyrocketed, and Caviar thinks that a gold-plated phone with the president’s image is “the best way to express patriotism.” The iPhone is a 5S model with an 18-karat gold exterior. The hand engraving depicts the presidential bust along with the Russian coat of arms and the first lines of the Russian national anthem.

If last year’s gold iPhone sales are any indication, there’s definitely a market for gold iPhones. At least this one is actually gold?


Inside Mobile Apps

Head to head: Nokia Lumia 1520 and LG G3

Published by at 6:43 UTC, June 30th 2014

The Android-powered LG G3 is the hottest thing on the smartphone block, not least because of the QHD screen, the first in a really mass market device. In fact, with a 5.5″ screen diagonal, it’s technically in ‘phablet’ territory – in which case, how does it compare to Nokia’s own flagship phablet, the Lumia 1520?

LG G3 and 1520

Anyone seriously into categorisation might put the LG G3 and Nokia Lumia 1520 into separate buckets – phone vs ‘phablet’, for example, though the truth is that both of these devices – the 5.5″-screened LG G3 and the 6″-screened Nokia Lumia 1520 – are simply big phones, with the G3 smaller at least in part because of the smaller top, side and bottom bezels.

I can just wrap my hand around the G3, to touch middle finger and thumb, my usual rule for whether something is truly useable when mobile, out and about. The 1520 fails this test, but then the display is a good half inch bigger and with quite superb contrast and colours in all light conditions, so it’s swings and roundabouts. Hence this comparison feature.

LG G3 and 1520

As usual, I pick out winning categories in green, for interest sake – though don’t take these too seriously. And note that many categories simply don’t have a winner, either because the differences are subjective or because the two are roughly equal overall.

LG G3 Nokia Lumia 1520
Date launched June 2014 October 2013
Current price (SIM-free in the UK, inc VAT) £490 (will end up around the £400 mark after 3-6 months) £350 (i.e. has come down a lot in the last nine months, this started at almost £600)
Form factor, weight Touchscreen monoblock with removable back cover, 147 x 75 x 9mm, 149g Touchscreen polycarbonate monoblock, fully sealed, 163 x 85 x 9mm, 209g
Operating system, interface Android 4.4, extensible homescreens, LG’s UI extensions and application bundle  Windows Phone 8 GDR3/Lumia Black, tile interface Start screen (review device running WP 8.1 Preview)
Display  5.5″ IPS LCD, QHD resolution, average visibility outdoors, generally good colours and very crisp  6.0″ LCD with ClearBlack Display polarisers, 1080p resolution, pretty good in sunlight
Connectivity Quad band GSM, quad band 3G, decaband LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4 Quad band GSM, Quad band 3G, up to pentaband LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4 
Processor, performance 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801, 2GB RAM, generally pretty fast, though driving the QHD screen takes a toll, it seems 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM, pretty fast at almost everything (though often hidden by Windows Phone transitions)
Capacity 16GB plus microSD expansion 16GB plus microSD expansion
Imaging (stills, good light) 13MP 1/3.2″ sensor, imaging settings fairly fixed. Photos have highlights often blown out, plus some focussing issues, all with launch firmware. OIS helps in low light, but we’re still talking about a sensor that’s smaller,  and with only software noise reduction to help out, so results can be poor. 21MP PureView oversampling 1/2.5″ sensor, flexible software control over settings, dedicated camera shutter button and launch key, 2x lossless digital zoom. Great results, even zoomed or reframed. The larger sensor, oversampling and 3-axis OIS mean that the 1520 produces good results in poor light, too.
(example shot)
(example detail, 1:1 crop)
Plenty of great detail, here at around 10MP, but highlights are definitely over-exposed – there’s some work to do for the user here.

This from the 5MP PureView oversampled version. A more detailed 16MP version is also available if needed.
Imaging (video) (up to) 4K video capture, though 1080p is the default, plus 2-axis OIS. 1080p video capture, with 3x lossless zoom during recording and 3-axis OIS helping, especially while zoomed
Music and Multimedia Decent mono speaker, 3.5mm headphones  Decent mono speaker,  3.5mm headphones
Gaming  Great selection of games, though there are some incompatibilities with the QHD screen – updates needed!  Plenty of decent games for Windows Phone 8 these days. If I’m honest, almost all my favourite mobile games are on Windows Phone at the moment, which is somewhat bizarre!
Navigation  Google Navigation is very comprehensive, but aside from limited (in size and time) caching of small areas, struggles mightily when out of data coverage. The HERE Maps/Drive suite is unrivalled, with the 100% offline routing and maps that don’t expire. Plus live traffic, good public transport advice and innovative ‘live sight’ functions
Battery, life  Removable 3000mAh battery easily gets through the day, plus could be swapped out if needed. Plus Qi wireless charging top-ups. Sealed 3400mAh battery, easily gets through the day. Plus Qi wireless charging top-ups.
Applications and ecosystem  Android’s Play Store is very fully stocked, second only to the iPhone Store for depth. Everything mainstream is here, plus plenty of boutique/niche apps. Perfect access to both Google and Microsoft platform services! Windows Phone now has just about every mainstream app covered, with great strides in the last few months. Niche/boutique apps are often an issue, though… Also anything to do with Google services!
Upgrades and future Given the G3’s specification, it’s very likely that LG will bump it up to Android 5.0 (L??), probably early in 2015. In the meantime, there will be various optimisation updates in 2014.  Windows Phone 8.1 is due out formally in the next week, bringing (among many other things) a revamp of notifications in the UI. Updates to the 1520 will continue into 2015, under Microsoft’s banner, it is hoped.

Given the initial cosmetic disparity, form factors and operating systems, it’s something of a surprise that it’s tough to split these two flagships – many aspects above are either equivalent or just down to personal preference. However, the Lumia 1520 does have a definite edge when it comes to imaging and (arguably) navigation, while the G3 wins out on battery flexibility and range of applications.

Which would I rather own? The G3 is a lot more pocketable, though the 1520 has, I feel, potential which hasn’t been unlocked yet in Windows Phone 8.x.

Your comments welcome, of course!

LG G3 and 1520

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Platforms: General, Windows Phone 8
Categories: Comment, Hardware
 

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‘Busting Your Corporate Idol’ is today’s free eBook download

corporate idol

Today’s free eBook is Busting Your Corporate Idol: Self Help for the Chronically Overworked. Written by Dr. Greg Marcus, the self-help book is the perfect way to start your Monday, especially if you’re already feeling overworked. This book aims to help you understand corporate culture and how you can use that knowledge to perpetuate positive work habits:

Recovering workaholic and celebrated life coach Dr. Greg Marcus shares the story of how he cut his hours by a third in a way that made him more productive at work. Busting Your Corporate Idol offers a step-by-step approach so you can too. Busting Your Corporate Idol tells stories from the corporate world the way it really is – where “successful people” secretly suffer from stress-related illnesses, and selfless people become depressed because they don’t understand that some people will never reciprocate. You will learn how to avoid these pitfalls, and what to do when you find yourself stuck in those situations.

In this book you see the exact method Dr. Greg Marcus used to reduce his hours by a third while becoming more productive at work. He did this in less than a year, without changing jobs, and in a toxic environment. You’ll see step by step how you can do the same thing.

Busting Your Corporate Idol: Self Help for the Chronically Overworked is available as a free download on Amazon from Monday 6/30/14, and Tuesday 7/11/14. . As of this writing, the book has an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars from 66 customer reviews. For more free eBooks, check out our 10 Websites to Download Free eBooks list, as well as our Free eBook of the Day archive, previously on Appnewser.


Inside Mobile Apps

Download all the Android L Apps [APK]

Android L Keyboard

We’ve already seen a lot of Android L goodness, from wallpapers to keyboards, but now thanks to the guys over at XDA, you can download all the apps that come with Android L all at once.

The list is pretty extensive and contains all the Android L app .APK’s, some of which will be more useful to you than others.

Nonetheless, hit the link here to download them all in bulk, or here to download each app individually.


AndroidGuys

Fiksu: App downloads and marketing costs on the rise due to ‘app inflation’

fiksu-650

User acquisition and marketing company Fiksu has revealed the results of its latest indexes, which measure daily app downloads, cost per loyal users, cost per installs and more. May’s data shows competition for downloads on the rise in a phenomenon Fiksu has called “app inflation.”

For instance, May’s App Store Competitive Index, which measures the average daily downloads for the top 200 free iPhone apps in the US, saw a 24 percent increase to 6.6 million daily downloads, up from 5.34 million in April. That’s a 12 percent increase year-over-year.

Fiksu Indexes | Fiksu

Meanwhile, the Cost Per Loyal User Index tracks the cost of acquiring a single loyal user, where a ‘loyal user’ is defined as one who opens an app three times or more. That cost increased 17 percent to $ 1.78 in May, a 34 percent increase year-over-year.

While the Cost Per Loyal User increased in May, the Cost Per Launch declined across both iOS and Android. On Android, the figure fell 20 percent to $ 0.10, while the iOS number fell five percent, to $ 0.20. Fiksu attributes this to an increase in “super users,” who may open an app dozens of times in a single day. This brings down the cost per launch, as the app was opened by existing users, rather than those requiring additional marketing spend to acquire.

Fiksu Indexes | Fiksu-1

Finally, The Cost Per Install Index remained relatively steady, sitting at $ 1.31 for Android and $ 1.28 on iOS (a three percent increase month-over-month). The Cost Per Install index measures the cost per app install that’s directly attributed to advertising.

“While there have been ebbs and flows, it’s very clear that the cost of app marketing and the competition for downloads is on a constant upward trajectory: what we’re calling app inflation,” said Micah Adler, CEO of Fiksu. “The increased quality and growing popularity of apps continues to fuel ever-increasing demand, meaning marketers must continually hone their new strategies and spending in the quest to cost-efficiently acquire loyal and engaged users.”

More information on May’s data is available on Fiksu’s website.


Inside Mobile Apps

Download all the Android L Apps [APK]

Android L Keyboard

We’ve already seen a lot of Android L goodness, from wallpapers to keyboards, but now thanks to the guys over at XDA, you can download all the apps that come with Android L all at once.

The list is pretty extensive and contains all the Android L app .APK’s, some of which will be more useful to you than others.

Nonetheless, hit the link here to download them all in bulk, or here to download each app individually.


AndroidGuys

Head to head: Nokia Lumia 1520 and LG G3

Published by at 6:43 UTC, June 30th 2014

The Android-powered LG G3 is the hottest thing on the smartphone block, not least because of the QHD screen, the first in a really mass market device. In fact, with a 5.5″ screen diagonal, it’s technically in ‘phablet’ territory – in which case, how does it compare to Nokia’s own flagship phablet, the Lumia 1520?

LG G3 and 1520

Anyone seriously into categorisation might put the LG G3 and Nokia Lumia 1520 into separate buckets – phone vs ‘phablet’, for example, though the truth is that both of these devices – the 5.5″-screened LG G3 and the 6″-screened Nokia Lumia 1520 – are simply big phones, with the G3 smaller at least in part because of the smaller top, side and bottom bezels.

I can just wrap my hand around the G3, to touch middle finger and thumb, my usual rule for whether something is truly useable when mobile, out and about. The 1520 fails this test, but then the display is a good half inch bigger and with quite superb contrast and colours in all light conditions, so it’s swings and roundabouts. Hence this comparison feature.

LG G3 and 1520

As usual, I pick out winning categories in green, for interest sake – though don’t take these too seriously. And note that many categories simply don’t have a winner, either because the differences are subjective or because the two are roughly equal overall.

LG G3 Nokia Lumia 1520
Date launched June 2014 October 2013
Current price (SIM-free in the UK, inc VAT) £490 (will end up around the £400 mark after 3-6 months) £350 (i.e. has come down a lot in the last nine months, this started at almost £600)
Form factor, weight Touchscreen monoblock with removable back cover, 147 x 75 x 9mm, 149g Touchscreen polycarbonate monoblock, fully sealed, 163 x 85 x 9mm, 209g
Operating system, interface Android 4.4, extensible homescreens, LG’s UI extensions and application bundle  Windows Phone 8 GDR3/Lumia Black, tile interface Start screen (review device running WP 8.1 Preview)
Display  5.5″ IPS LCD, QHD resolution, average visibility outdoors, generally good colours and very crisp  6.0″ LCD with ClearBlack Display polarisers, 1080p resolution, pretty good in sunlight
Connectivity Quad band GSM, quad band 3G, decaband LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4 Quad band GSM, Quad band 3G, up to pentaband LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4 
Processor, performance 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801, 2GB RAM, generally pretty fast, though driving the QHD screen takes a toll, it seems 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM, pretty fast at almost everything (though often hidden by Windows Phone transitions)
Capacity 16GB plus microSD expansion 16GB plus microSD expansion
Imaging (stills, good light) 13MP 1/3.2″ sensor, imaging settings fairly fixed. Photos have highlights often blown out, plus some focussing issues, all with launch firmware. OIS helps in low light, but we’re still talking about a sensor that’s smaller,  and with only software noise reduction to help out, so results can be poor. 21MP PureView oversampling 1/2.5″ sensor, flexible software control over settings, dedicated camera shutter button and launch key, 2x lossless digital zoom. Great results, even zoomed or reframed. The larger sensor, oversampling and 3-axis OIS mean that the 1520 produces good results in poor light, too.
(example shot)
(example detail, 1:1 crop)
Plenty of great detail, here at around 10MP, but highlights are definitely over-exposed – there’s some work to do for the user here.

This from the 5MP PureView oversampled version. A more detailed 16MP version is also available if needed.
Imaging (video) (up to) 4K video capture, though 1080p is the default, plus 2-axis OIS. 1080p video capture, with 3x lossless zoom during recording and 3-axis OIS helping, especially while zoomed
Music and Multimedia Decent mono speaker, 3.5mm headphones  Decent mono speaker,  3.5mm headphones
Gaming  Great selection of games, though there are some incompatibilities with the QHD screen – updates needed!  Plenty of decent games for Windows Phone 8 these days. If I’m honest, almost all my favourite mobile games are on Windows Phone at the moment, which is somewhat bizarre!
Navigation  Google Navigation is very comprehensive, but aside from limited (in size and time) caching of small areas, struggles mightily when out of data coverage. The HERE Maps/Drive suite is unrivalled, with the 100% offline routing and maps that don’t expire. Plus live traffic, good public transport advice and innovative ‘live sight’ functions
Battery, life  Removable 3000mAh battery easily gets through the day, plus could be swapped out if needed. Plus Qi wireless charging top-ups. Sealed 3400mAh battery, easily gets through the day. Plus Qi wireless charging top-ups.
Applications and ecosystem  Android’s Play Store is very fully stocked, second only to the iPhone Store for depth. Everything mainstream is here, plus plenty of boutique/niche apps. Perfect access to both Google and Microsoft platform services! Windows Phone now has just about every mainstream app covered, with great strides in the last few months. Niche/boutique apps are often an issue, though… Also anything to do with Google services!
Upgrades and future Given the G3’s specification, it’s very likely that LG will bump it up to Android 5.0 (L??), probably early in 2015. In the meantime, there will be various optimisation updates in 2014.  Windows Phone 8.1 is due out formally in the next week, bringing (among many other things) a revamp of notifications in the UI. Updates to the 1520 will continue into 2015, under Microsoft’s banner, it is hoped.

Given the initial cosmetic disparity, form factors and operating systems, it’s something of a surprise that it’s tough to split these two flagships – many aspects above are either equivalent or just down to personal preference. However, the Lumia 1520 does have a definite edge when it comes to imaging and (arguably) navigation, while the G3 wins out on battery flexibility and range of applications.

Which would I rather own? The G3 is a lot more pocketable, though the 1520 has, I feel, potential which hasn’t been unlocked yet in Windows Phone 8.x.

Your comments welcome, of course!

LG G3 and 1520

Filed: > >

Platforms: General, Windows Phone 8
Categories: Comment, Hardware
 

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


All About Windows Phone