Just launched for iOS and Android devices is the voice search platform called Hound, created by SoundHound. The app essentially enables users to serve out various tasks such as searching for flights, or even make a call, with their voice.
The app features voice recognition to enable users to speak sentences naturally into the device and still get accurate results. As an example, users could say “Show me where any hotels are within 10 km’s from me”.
Once a user has asked a question, they can also ask a follow up question related to the same topic. If a user has asked about the hotel, they could follow up with “What about five stars?”.
The Speech-to-Meaning technology that Hound utilises is from the companys Houndify platform, which has been available since December 2015. To start a hands-free search users can say into the device “Ok Hound”, or otherwise tap a button in the app.
To integrate data and API’s into Hound, SoundHound has partnered with app giants Yelp and Uber. Integration with these companies allow users to order an Uber to their destination by speaking and also find detailed results after searching for businesses with the help of Yelp’s data.
The CEO of SoundHound, Keyvan Mohajer said recently in a statement “We believe that using voice to interface with devices will become a widespread user behavior if it is fast and delightful.”
The US developer Super Evil Megacorp has a mission to “make deeply engaging and technically outstanding games”. The company, which was founded in 2012 has raised a staggering $41 million in funding to date. The company is formed by key industry developers from gaming giants such as Guerrilla Games, Playfish, Blizzard Entertainment and more.
Super Evil Megacorp’s hit mobile game Vainglory, has recently taken out the award for the Best Mobile Game at the 2016 GLOMO Awards held in Barcelona.
In their category, there were over 930 other titles in the running which to GLOMO Awards was its record number of entries. The award evening was held during the Mobile World Congress.
Super Evil Megacrop’s COO and Executive Director, Kristian Segerstrale commented recently on their achievement “It is an honour for Vainglory to be recognized as the ‘Best Mobile Game’ by the GSMA,”.
She went on to thank their loyal player base for their dedication around the world. “The rate at which the Vainglory community has grown and the eSports competition has increased throughout 2015 has been incredible” She said.
Overall the company has honoured over $350 000 in prize money to players around the world. After the games rapid growth throughout 2015, we will no doubt continue to see the company’s continued success in the future.
Recently launched to the iTunes Store is the Funnster app that essentially enables users to plan and create events at any time.
The app offers template events such as baby showers, movie night and so on, so that users can plan events of any size within the app. They are also able to create an event from scratch and ask other guests to join via email or text message.
Depending on the help needed for the event, users can create different levels of invitations such as ‘Just Be There’, ‘Share The Expenses’ or ‘Bring Stuff’.
For the ‘Share The Expenses’ events, those who are invited may use Funnster to transfer their money to the event creator. If the event level is ‘Bring Stuff’, users can create a list of what they would like guests to bring. Invited users can then select items on the list that they would like to take to the event.
Amnon Israel, the founder of Funnster said in a recent statement “With Funnster, we’re making event planning for all types of events—formal to informal—easily integrative and engaging for hosts and guests. The platform is a place where real events can be coordinated.
The Funnster app is available for a free download from the iTunes App Store.
UK/Swedish developer King has recently been acquired by gaming giant Activision Blizzard, purchasing all outstanding shares for $18, making the deal worth a staggering $5.9 billion.
Part of the deal is said to have been made from an existing credit agreement, with the rest made with internal cash at around $3.6 billion.
Activision Blizzard alone reaches over 500 million users across the globe, allegedly making them the largest gaming network in the world.
Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard said recently “We see great opportunities to create new ways for audiences to experience their favourite franchises, from Candy Crush to World of Warcraft to Call of Duty and more, across mobile devices, consoles and personal computers.”.
Despite the acquisition all upper management will remain the same for King and it will continue to operate independently from Activision Blizzard.
Riccardo Zacconi, the CEO at King also commented “We are thrilled to now be a part of Activision Blizzard and can’t wait to start working together.”.
We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Activision Blizzard and King following the acquisition. Only time will tell whether the deal will be profitable for Activision Blizzard, given recent comments that the company overpaid for King.
Recently launched is the latest version of Paypal’s Android and iOS mobile app. Their vision is to simplify the process of managing and moving money for users on their mobile devices.
Part of the redesign is a new home screen, to include access to user’s transaction details, account balance, buttons for ordering ahead and requesting and sending money, as well as accessing store loyalty cards and making payments.
Users can now also add a user’s information directly from their contact book which is a personalised page to send money.
The app also offers users shortcut links for tasks the users may wish to complete. For example, once a user has received money from another contact, they may be prompted to press a button which transfers the money directly to their account.
The latest version now also allows for more account information, such as up to three years of transactions available for view.
Joanna Lambert, the vice president of global consumer product and engineering at PayPal said in a recent blog post “We redesigned the app to make it simpler and more personal for you to move and manage your money no matter where you are. It puts the things you want to do most with the app at the forefront and gets rid of the clutter.”
Recently launched for iOS and Android devices is the new photo-sharing app by SelfieMark. The app essentially enables users to “poll” their fellow peers in image comparisons. It allows users to gain feedback from other followers.
Users can import images from their camera roll or take selfies and other photos with the app. Users can then edit the pictures with various effects, stickers and drawings before they share them. As well as creating image polls using a couple of photos, users can also share images to their feed.
With SelfieMark, users can tag their friend’s usernames in the images, add a description and tag hashtags.
In order for a user to create a poll, they select two images which are displayed side-by-side and then receive opinions from other users about which image is better. For example, a user could post a picture of two different outfits to get followers opinion on which one they prefer. Users of the app are also able to make comments on the post.
Paula Echeverri, the CEO of SelfieMark said in a recent statement “Selfies are the new normal and continue to change how consumers and brands communicate. SelfieMark provides users and brands an easy way of polling that enables users to share valuable feedback and make instant decisions on daily indecisions. “
Electronic Art’s Q3 FY16 financials have now been released for the period ending three months before December 31, 2015.
The financials have shown that the GAAP revenue was down 5% year on year at a total of $1.1 billion. It also showed that the non-GAAP revenue reached $1.8 billion at a growth of 26%.
The company had a $45 million GAAP net loss, which 12 months ago had an income of $142 million.
When taking into consideration the non-GAAP situation, the company’s income rose by 54% earning an income of $596 million. The report also showed that the company had over $2.3 billion in cash and equivalents by the end of the quarter.
EA ended the quarter with cash and equivalents worth $2.3 billion. Overall, EA generated $207 million more than a year ago.
In regards to EA mobile, it saw 9% of the total GAAP sales at $128 million, rising by a total of 3% by last quarter and 5% from the year before.
EA mobile’s non-GAAP sales reached $162 million, up 17% from the earlier year and up 43% quarterly.
One of EA mobile’s hit games for 2015 was Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes.
In over 130 countries, the hit game was in the top 5 downloaded iOS games and has also been in the top 20 grossing games in various territories.
We will no doubt see the continued success of EA as a company and in its mobile division.
Bing by Microsoft has recently released its latest updates for its mobile apps that target iOS and Android devices. The updates are said to assist users in saving money while traveling or shopping.
As an example, users with an Android device can now utilise the barcode scanner, which was earlier released for Ios devices in December. By using the barcode scanner, users can easily compare the prices at online retailers with the prices of products in stores.
When a product is scanned in Bing’s database, users are displayed with various prices and customer ratings from major stores such as Target, Walmart and Amazon. For Android users to access the barcode scanner they simply press on the search icon to then select the camera that appears.
Furthermore, there is an added feature whereby both Android and iOS users can search through petrol prices of nearby petrol stations through an integration with GasBuddy.
Lastly, there is a Deals hub in the app that essentially enables users to view details at nearby businesses, as well as search available deals from various categories such as apparel or food. Once a user has found a deal they would like to retrieve, they are able follow instructions from the coupon’s provider.
The 1010! developer Gram Games is in high spirits with records showing that in less than a week, their hit game Merged! surpassed 1 million downloads.
The company that is based in Istanbul, launched the hit game on January 28, with its millionth download being recorded on February 2nd. This may partially be thanks to its feature on the App Store.
Merged! is a minimalistic puzzle game that makes heavy use of advertisements, which is much like their game 1010! that managed to score 50 million downloads in 2015. It has been said that the game may have saved the company with its success.
The CEO of Gram Games, Mehmet Ecevit is more than confident in Merged! Outdoing 1010!’s success after its promising launch. He predicts the game will pass the number of downloads that 1010! Has seen.
Ecevit said recently in a statement “The initial results since launch are amazing. The numbers during soft launch indicated great things and this has now been confirmed by the appreciation we are seeing from our player base.”
He continued “Our talented, passionate team and unique culture has been key to our success. We work harmoniously to create fun puzzle games. We enjoy it and will continue to do so.”
Recently released for iOS and Android devices is ‘Guides’, the mobile app by the travel media company Lonely Planet. The app aims to assist users in learning about various destinations around the world as well as plan trips. Its content covers 38 cities including Rome, New York Paris and London.
Guides allows users to download individual city guides and includes approximately 1000 points of interest in each city. Users can also access offline maps of the locations. Using various categories, such as ‘sleep’, ‘see’ or ‘eat’ users can browse points of interest as well as curated content that is based on themes. For example, if a user searches ‘San Francisco’, they can view its various attractions and activities, or even a list of featured films.
Users can search attractions based on their current locations and also search for attractions that are in a particular neighbourhood. Additionally, the app offers a range of travel tips for planning trips on various budgets.
When the app is listing an attraction for a user it will include contact information, hours of operation, address and a description. Individual locations can be saved as favourites within the app or to their account with Lonely Planet.
Daniel Houghton, the CEO of Lonely Planet said in a recent statement “ We are very excited to launch Guides for mobile. We were one of the first travel publishers ever to have content available in the App Store and were a launch partner for the iPad. We have taken the time to understand what travelers need and expect from a mobile product in 2016.”