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The heavens parted for Android users today, and Instagram was delivered unto them. The news seems to have stirred up hateful emotions for some of the Google faithful who shun fraternizing with the more than 30 million iOS users already sharing photos with the service, but you can’t please everyone, right? Meanwhile, there are plenty of other tech-related stories for this fine day, so let’s launch right into all the news for Tuesday, April 3, 2012.
That loud cheering you heard earlier today was probably Android users whooping it up over the news that Instagram has finally arrived on Google’s mobile platform. While the company is touting more than 30 million users from the iOS side of things, they’re sure to have quite a few more now that the Play Store has it on their virtual shelves. Personally we’ve always preferred Path to Instagram, but most everyone we know swears by the latter, so what do we know? If you haven’t downloaded it yet, hit the link to grab it from the Google Play Store right now.
On any given weekend evening while taking a break from writing the very news recap you’re reading each weekday, we can be found sprawled out on the couch enjoying streaming movie rentals from Amazon Instant Video. The e-tailer offers a different recent feature film for only 99 cents each Monday through Thursday, and a trio of $1.99 offerings for the weekend, so it’s a great way to get caught up for cheap. While we already have a Roku box and LG Blu-ray player both capable of doing this, what’s not to like about one more home theatre device being blessed with it? Today, Amazon Instant Video is finally available on the Sony PlayStation 3, where it joins the ranks of Netflix, Hulu Plus and Vudu for your hard-earned dollars, complete with more than 17,000 free movies and TV shows available with your Amazon Prime membership and another 120,000 paid titles available. While it might help us get a few more hours of use out of our PS3, what we’d really like is an Amazon Instant Video app for the iPad -- what do they expect us to do, own a Kindle Fire, too? (Oh yeah… we already do…)
When your app can already perform magic, what could possibly be left to add to it? In the case of Shazam Encore 5.0, the app is now better, stronger and faster than ever before. Released earlier today, the fifth version of the $5.99 Shazam Encore now features “lightning fast tagging and recognition” coupled with “instant listening on start-up.” Blended together, these features mean that the app is now capable of recognizing a song in as little as one second, particularly when the start-up time of the app itself has actually been shaved by a full second to begin with. If you’re not in such a big hurry to tag those tunes, the 5.0 update still brings a lot to the table, with editable tweets in iOS 5 or later and “smoother, more responsive navigation and scrolling” as well as “improved sync on LyricPlay.” Last but not least, the Shazam Friends feed now works even faster than before. It’s all waiting for you to update in the App Store right now, so don’t waste a single second and grab it today.
We’ve reported on some crazy Apple rumors over the years, but this one takes the cake. MacRumors is reporting that a crew from TV Tokyo’s World Business Satellite recently nabbed a quick interview with a Foxconn recruiter in Taiyuan, China, where the company is apparently hiring 18,000 new workers for a plant there. The kicker to the story? According to Macotakara, the recruiter claims these workers are being added to the 80,000 already there “to support production of the iPhone 5,” which is “planned to launch in June.” It seems unlikely that a recruiter would have any insider knowledge of Apple’s release schedule, not to mention what the workers they hire will actually be assembling, but take it with a grain of salt as always -- the rumor mill has already predicted that Apple will return to their mid-year release schedule for this year’s iPhone, so folks are looking for anything that might bear fruit from that scuttlebutt.
Talk about irony: Popular reading app Read It Later is reporting on their blog that users love to save video to the service as well, something the company quietly added to its superpower list back in 2010. Saving videos are up 138 percent, with YouTube cited as Read It Later’s most-saved domain, with an average length of nearly 30 minutes per video. Vimeo is a distant second at only six percent, with other streaming video providers making up the remaining two percent. Doesn’t seem like Read It Later will be entertaining a name change anytime soon, but the good news is the service certainly won’t be discouraging these rogue users, either -- promising to work hard by expanding support “for all the video sites you like to use.”
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