The video chatting sphere is really heating up online. In roughly the same week, Facebook announced their partnership with Skype and Google rolled out Hangout in their Google+. FaceTime for Mac hit the Mac App Store not too long ago and is set to get much bigger with Lion. Meanwhile, old hand Skype was bought by Microsoft just this year. Clearly, everyone's investing in video in a big way.
The App Store has been a runaway success for Apple. Even though the curated, online marketplace generates only 1% of the total revenue for Cupertino, when Apple announced last week that over 15 billion apps had been downloaded, it was kind of huge. The App Store is the hip, fully stocked bar that keeps iOS users coming back for another round. A new report shows we are not only sipping on apps, but starting to develop some addictive habits, too.
iOS users are downloading more apps than ever before, and paying more for those apps. The average price per app is rising, and the number of apps being served from the App Store smashed 15 billion last week.
Holiday weeks tend to be slow just about everywhere, and news tends to creep a bit around this time. (If Apple had gone and released the iPhone 5 on the old summer schedule, we'd all still be talking about it, but we'll save that for autumn.) Which is not to say there weren't things that went over pretty big this week, as soon you'll see, since obviously you missed it.
This week we're all about making you feel better, happier, safer, and more productive. You'll want to stretch, relax, listen to some tunes, watch some movies, and make your bucket list of places to visit, all for the low, low price of free or $0.99.
Procrastination is a major killer. You might be the fastest worker in the office, but if you’re not actually, you know, working, you’re in for some long nights. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, there’s little-to-no chance you’re going to take the extra time to fill out complex to-do lists to get your work in order. That’s where iProcrastinate comes in.
Anger problem? Don’t punch us for this suggestion (kidding!), but there’s a trio of iPhone apps in which a Muppet-esque “doctor” named Shrinky (shrinky.net) talks you through mental health–related topics. Shrinky: Anxiety and Shrinky’s Anger Remedy are $2.99; Shrinky: Cheap Chill is $0.99. It seems silly at first, but if you listen to the puppet (through headphones, ideally) and follow his calming instructions, you should actually feel better. And at the very least, you’re taking a proactive step toward doing so, instead of simply reacting to whatever made you angry in the first place.
Stressed out? We feel you. Stress is the worst. Fortunately, the iTunes Store has tons of solutions. Podcasts are free, and searching for “stress” yields dozens of results. Since different people will respond to different techniques, download a few episodes and listen to them on your commute or in a quiet corner with headphones. A couple of our favorites are Dr. Harry Henshaw’s Enhanced Healing Podcast, which features relaxation music and binaural tones at five minutes an episode, and The Meditation Coach Podcast’s episodes “8-minute Guided Breath Meditation with Theta Rain” and “4-minute Mini Vacation Guided Meditation.”
We've been waiting for a long time, and we weren't even all that sure it would ever happen. However, today we can enjoy the fruits of our patience as the Mac gaming classic Marathon releases on the App Store. Die-hard Marathon fans doubtlessly downloaded it for free on Mac ages ago, but today the series is open for a whole new generation to enjoy.
I've always had tremendous respect for the blind. While many cope with this disability every day, I can't even imagine not being able to see where I'm going or play most videogames. Indie developer Ananse Productions won't be able to assist the former, but they could with the latter. Their recent iOS puzzler, Stem Stumper was built from the ground up to be accessible to the vision impaired.
Part of every stereotypical tourist vacation is planning out itineraries, which generally can require a lot of time and research, and possibly cash spent on guidebooks to exotic locales. SpotWorld aims to take all -- or at least most -- of the hassle of planning expeditions by compiling all the information you need into a combo GPS, hotspot guide, encyclopedia, and light community networking app.