‘Flappy Bird’ Creator: I Might Bring It Back

by Samantha Murphy Kelly

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For those still mourning the loss of the highly addictive Flappy Bird mobile game that was pulled from app stores just last month, creator Dong Nguyen said he’s “considering” bringing it back.

In an in-depth interview with Rolling Stone, Nguyen said there is a chance he could release it once again: “I’m considering it.”

The publication met with the man who mysteriously removed the app, despite it bringing in a reported $55,000 in ad revenue each day. Although the app launched in May 2013, it became an overnight sensation in February as it climbed to the top of Apple’s App Store and Google Play for Android.

But the stresses of success had gotten to its creator. There were rumors he might be sued by Nintendo. He received death threats, couldn’t eat and even contemplated suicide. This led him to send a series of tweets on Feb. 8 warning that he was going to remove the app in just 22 hours. Fans pleaded with him to keep it available, but by the next day, the app was no longer in either store.

In response to a question about how he felt after removing the app, Nguyen responded: 

 

“Relief. I can’t go back to my life before, but I’m good now.”

Although Nguyen said he isn’t working on a new version of the game and is turning down offers to sell it, he would bring back the original release but with a specific “warning” to “please take a break.”

Fans of Flappy Bird who downloaded the app before it was pulled are still generating tens of thousands of dollars for him, according to the report. He quit his job and is developing new games, such as a flying game called Kitty Jetpack and a “action chess game” called Checkonaut due out this month.

Some believe Flappy Bird was so popular because it is so frustrating to play. The concept of the game is to keep a bird afloat by tapping it through a series of obstacles. It’s designed to be simple but, in practice, the task is extremely difficult.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Full Story: http://mashable.com/2014/03/11/flappy-bird-app-coming-back/

Chromecast SDK now available for iOS developers

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Google announced today a public SDK for Chromecast allowing developers to build support for casting into Android, Chrome, and iOS apps and websites.

If you’re a developer looking to bring your content to the big screen, head on over to the Google Developers Blog for a deep dive into the nuts and bolts of it all. Meanwhile, for everyone else, a current list of apps that work with Chromecast can be found at chromecast.com/apps.

The Chromecast currently supports a number of content streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Pandora, YouTube, and more.

Google introduced support for Plex, Vevo, Songza and more last December shortly after introducing a Chromecast section to the Google Play Store.

Today’s announcement likely means support for a lot more services from networks and independent providers as developers can build in support on Android, Chrome, and iOS apps and websites independently.

Chromecast SDK is now open to all developers, look forward to all the new apps coming


(@sundarpichai) February 03, 2014

full story: http://9to5mac.com/2014/02/03/chromecast-sdk-now-available-for-ios-developers/

Apple execs say iOS and OS X won’t merge, and 10.10 will prove that

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Among the hoopla surrounding the 30th anniversary of the Mac last week, Macworld‘s Jason Snell had an excellent interview with Apple’s Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and Bud Tribble about both the past and the future for the Mac. While the entire interview is well worth a read, the talk from Apple executives about iOS and OS X convergence being a “waste of energy” stood out to me the most.

“It’s obvious and easy enough to slap a touchscreen on a piece of hardware, but is that a good experience?” Federighi said. “We believe, no.”

“We don’t waste time thinking, ‘But it should be one [interface]!’ How do you make these [operating systems] merge together?’ What a waste of energy that would be,” Schiller said. But he added that the company definitely tries to smooth out bumps in the road that make it difficult for its customers to switch between a Mac and an iOS device—for example, making sure its messaging and calendaring apps have the same name on both OS X and iOS.

Of course, it appears that the Apple executives are taking shots at Microsoft, Windows 8, Surface line of products, and Google’s new Touch-enabled Chromebooks. Microsoft is well known to believe that computer operating systems should be the same regardless of devices. On the other hand, Apple has two complete different operating systems: one for the iPad and iPhone, and the other for the Mac. Federighi explains why:

“The reason OS X has a different interface than iOS isn’t because one came after the other or because this one’s old and this one’s new,” Federighi said. Instead, it’s because using a mouse and keyboard just isn’t the same as tapping with your finger. “This device,” Federighi said, pointing at a MacBook Air screen, “has been honed over 30 years to be optimal” for keyboards and mice. Schiller and Federighi both made clear that Apple believes that competitors who try to attach a touchscreen to a PC or a clamshell keyboard onto a tablet are barking up the wrong tree.

That being said, Apple obviously believes in there being some shared design elements between products. Remember, by the time Scott Forstall was fired, OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6 were both filled with similarly appalling linen. Now that Jony Ive has put his stamp on iOS, natural speculation points to him doing the same for the next release of OS X.

But I don’t think we’re in for that… just yet.

Sure, OS X 10.10 (codenamed “Syrah” and currently sitting around development build number 14Z109) will pick up some of the enhancements from iOS 7 like improved notifications (and perhaps AirDrop compatibility with iOS and Siri — which the company has been toying with for months on the former and years on the latter), but I don’t believe we should expect a thorough iOS 7-like overhaul for OS X 10.10 this year.

Instead, I am expecting OS X 10.10 to have user-interface tweaks that will make the interface “flatter,” but not as stark as iOS 7′s look. I’d also expect some blur and translucency effects in a few places, but not in anyway that is central to the experience like it is on iOS. There will be a little bit more white space, more defined menu bars, and squared-off window controls, but I would not expect a full color palette change and redesigns for every single application and icon.

So don’t expect OS X and iOS’s designs to converge this year. Instead, think of 2014 for the Mac OS as more of a transition year. A transition from glitz to flat(ter), but nothing too dramatic.

full story: http://9to5mac.com/2014/01/27/apple-execs-say-ios-and-os-x-wont-merge-and-10-10-will-prove-that/

Featured App Store Collection: Super Bowl XLVIII Apps

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Super Bowl Featured App Collection

This week’s featured app collections in the App Store include one for the nation’s biggest sporting event – Super Bowl XLVIII. It’s a curated selection of apps that are meant to enhance the experience on Super Sunday and / or just get you in the mood for the climax to the NFL season.

The Super Bowl XLVIII collection offers apps in a handful of sub-sections – Apps for the Big Game, Super Bowl Teams, 2013 Season: Full Games, Documentaries, More NFL Apps, and NFL Podcasts.

If you’re a rabid NFL fan there are plenty of good looking apps in the collection – from the official team apps for the Broncos and Seahawks to some greatest ever games for each franchise, to past Super Bowl highlights and greatest Super Bowls, to the latest iPad version Madden NFL and other fun pro football games.

So if you need some NFL goodness to fill the void between now and game day, or companion apps to go along with the ridiculous amount of pre-game coverage on February 2, then you’ll want to dive into this collection. You can find it in the top row of rotating featured collections on the Featured area of the App Store.

Google Is Working On A “Chromoting” App For iOS Users, Too

by  (@sarahintampa)

message spotted on Chromium.org, home to the open source browser project Google Chrome is based on, states that a “Chromoting” application is in development for iOS devices. This would allow users to control their computers from their iPhone or iPad, for example. An Android version of this same technology has been indevelopment since last year, it’s been previously reported.

These mobile clients would be an extension of Google’s earlier efforts with its Chrome Remote Desktop screen sharing and remote access service, which exited from beta in fall 2012. With that still somewhat under-hyped Chrome application, users can securely share their computer over the web with others for things like remote tech support, or simply access their own computers, applications and files from another desktop or laptop.

The benefit to using the Chrome application over competing solutions designed for professionals, like LogMeIn or TeamViewer, for example, is that it’s turnkey for existing Chrome users, and also, it’s free. (At least for now).

From the brief post on the Chromium.org site, we’ve learned that the iOS version of the so-called “Chromoting” mobile client is still very unpolished at this point, and not surprisingly, further behind in development than its Android counterpart.

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But at the very least, it’s a confirmation that the project is still in the works. (Today, there’s a version of the Android client available, but you have to compile the app from source because there’s not an official version being distributed at this time.)

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Details regarding the overall feature set, or a general timeframe to launch are still under wraps for these official “Chromoting” clients, but we’ve reached out to Google to see if the company would be willing to clarify the status of the project. We’ll update this post if or when we hear back.

UPDATE, 1/17/14, 4:45 PM ET: Google declined to provide any clarification on this matter, saying only: “We’re always experimenting with new features in Chrome, especially in the Dev channel, but have nothing to announce at this time.”

Hat tip: 9to5Mac

full story: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/17/google-is-working-on-a-chromoting-app-for-ios-users-too/

Stylish screensaver recreates the iOS 7 lock screen experience on your Mac

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Want to bring iOS and OS X even closer together than they already are?
Christian Heudens has recreated the iOS 7 lock screen to your Mac as a free downloadable screensaver. The thin fonts look great on a Retina Display. It’s a neat way to give your Mac a bit of individuality and make your experience across your Apple devices even more consistent.

The developer has done a good job of replicating the feel of iOS 7, using the same starry wallpaper by default and font style. The screensaver adds a zoom effect to the background too, which is a sophisticated yet subtle addition.

Set up is easy; just drag the file to your Mac’s screensaver folder and then select it from System Preferences. There are a few customisation options too. You can change the wallpaper from the starscape to a custom image (to match your desktop wallpaper, perhaps) as well as adjust the clock size and toggle the zoom effect if you find it distracting.

The beauty is, because there is no installation per se, if you don’t like it, you can revert back to your previous screensaver just as easily. It’s free so there’s no harm in giving it a try … in fact, it could foreshadow where an iOS 7-influenced OS X is going in the future.

full story: http://9to5mac.com/2014/01/14/stylish-screensaver-recreates-the-ios-7-lock-screen-experience-on-your-mac/

Glam’s FoodieTV App Is A Curated Collection Of Great Food Documentaries Built For The Small Screen

by  (@ryanlawler)

 

Digital media company Glam Media has introduced a new video app designed to appeal to foodies everywhere. The new FoodieTV app, which is available for iOS, gives viewers a weekly smattering of the best videos related to food and travel.

The new app is one example of how Glam is trying to move beyond just running advertising for a large number of network sites. The company is also building a number of its own lifestyle-focused brands and properties to appeal to a wide range of users.

Last spring, Glam unveiled its Foodie Top 100 Restaurants Worldwide guide, for instance, introducing traditional publishing as a new revenue stream built off its Foodie.com site. Now, Glam is leveraging the same Foodie brand with an iOS app that is meant to appeal to viewers who love travel and food.

Each week, the FoodieTV app introduces new content to viewers, connecting five short-form food and travel videos to create an “episode.” Those videos range in length, generally from three to five minutes each. Combined, they provide snackable entertainment about a variety of subjects pertaining to food.

Glam Product designer and strategist Marc Escobosa says the app was designed to emulate TV programming, but on a smaller scale and on a smaller screen. The app also provides a way for content creators who have filmed these vignettes of food and travel programming, to be seen and get paid without having to worry about the vagaries of YouTube advertising.

“If the way you tell stories is 10 minutes or less, you’re put in a box where you have to be on YouTube, and you have unpredictable banner ads that you can’t predict or have any control over,” Escobosa said.

Instead, FoodieTV has been licensing content from independent creators, making them more visible to users and putting them in context. The videos in the app might not be exclusive to Glam and might be viewable elsewhere on the Internet, but FoodieTV is designed to provide a high-quality, highly curated and immersive experience in which they can be viewed.

While the app is only on mobile and tablet now, you can imagine how it might be applied to larger screens. For instance, you can AirPlay the videos from your iPhone to an Apple TV, and that should give viewers a taste of the possibilities for translating the FoodieTV mobile app onto smart TVs and other streaming video devices hooked up to the TV.

full story: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/14/glam-foodietv/