Cellphones

Viber Revamps iOS App, Goes Flat for iOS7

Viber Revamps iOS App - iOS7 Ready

Viber Revamps iOS App – iOS7 Ready

Showing up a bit late to the iOS 7 party, Viber, the free calling and messaging app that Rakuten bought for $900 million, has released a significant update for its iOS app that introduces a new flat design (iOS 7) and a number of additional features.

Viber 4.2, as it’s being called, now features an iOS 7-style design — which the company describes as clean and flat — with a stronger focus on multimedia. Users can now share multiple images at the same time, while they can also record and share longer video messaging and block specific phone numbers. Finally, the indicator that the other person is typing has been switched on for the Android tablet app, and its Linux, Windows and Mac versions.

Viber 4.2, as it’s being called, also offers longer video messages and the ability to see the typing status indicator (Jordan is typing…) for users on Android tablets and desktop.

Here’s what Viber CEO Talmon Marco had to say about the new changes

“Viber has been redesigned from the start for simplicity and ease of use. Taking our cue from the clean, flat look of iOS 7, we wanted Viber to feel like a completely seamless part of your device. Our top priority is the enthusiastic community of users who rely on Viber every day to communicate with their friends, family, and important contacts. The new iPhone version we released today will make it easier and more fun than ever before to stay connected.”

Viber is available across a wide array of platforms. You can learn more here.

Viber is available ad-free for Windows Desktop, Windows 8, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Bada and Nokia.

Viber for iOS [iTunes UK Link] [iTunes US Link]

Dropbox releases Mailbox App for Android

Mailbox on Android

Mailbox on Android © Dropbox, Inc

Dropbox has released its Mailbox email client for Android devices.

The cloud storage company has also announced that a desktop beta version of the service is also in development for Mac OS users.

Already available for iOS devices [link], Mailbox arrives on Android with new features, such as an “auto-swipe” function that lets users automatically archive messages.

The application has also introduced Word, Excel and PowerPoint integration as part of a collaboration with Microsoft dubbed Project Harmony.

Dropbox says that “The desktop version of Mailbox will feature a minimal design and track-pad gesture controls. Users can apply to take part in the beta via the service’s website“.

Cloud storage company Dropbox bought Mailbox last year, shortly after the iOS app launched. The app lets users organize emails with simple swipe motions, chasing the notion of having no unread messages, or “inbox zero.” When Mailbox launched initially, it was only compatible with Gmail on iOS, but CEO Gentry Underwood said he planned to expand to other platforms and email services.

Mailbox previously reported 1 million users within a month of launching and said Wednesday that the number has grown to 275 million.

The company also announced that it’s testing a desktop version of the app, Mailbox for Mac. People who want to try the OS X Mailbox can ask for a beta invite here.

While Mailbox is finally on Android, many of the service’s limitations remain in place. It only works with Gmail and iCloud, so don’t go looking to this app if you rely on Yahoo, Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail) or a corporate email account. It also gives yet another company, in this case Mailbox’s parent Dropbox, access to your Gmail account. The app is still not available on Windows Phone.

Another change is that Mailbox will require a Dropbox login to use the app, on both iOS and Android. So, if you’re a Mailbox user, you will be required to be a Dropbox user as well.

The Android edition is now available from the Google Play store for download [link].

Apple releases iOS 7.0.6 to fix a security issue

Apple iOS 7

Apple iOS 7

Apple has released iOS 7.0.6, a minor update to the operating system that resolves a security issue. The issue revolved around SSL verification, though Apple hasn’t yet described exactly what was going wrong. Presumably, it was important enough to warrant releasing an update to fix it now rather than bundling it into iOS 7.1, a large update to iOS 7 that Apple has been beta testing for several months now. Many iPhone and iPad owners have been eagerly awaiting the larger update, which is reported to include a number of design improvements and a fix to the pesky bug that’s been causing devices to restart seemingly at random during use. That wait may not be much longer though: reports have pegged iOS 7.1’s release as sometime in March.

On a new security page, Apple has disclosed the basic details of the flaw fixed in iOS 7.0.6. It seems that in at least one prior version of iOS, a hacker may have been able to retrieve and alter data that should have been protected by encryption. Apple says that this happened because the operating system failed to validate the connection’s security. Given the explanation’s limited details, it’s hard to judge just how serious this vulnerability may have been. But even so, it appears that it could have been a quite damaging, suggesting Apple had good reason to release the update quickly.

‘Flappy Bird’ creator breaks silence, says he pulled game because it was ‘addictive’

Flappy Bird

Indie developer Dong Nguyen has broken his silence following the sudden removal of his popular Flappy Bird game recently. In an interview with Forbes, Nguyen says the game was originally designed to be played “when you are relaxed.” However, the notoriously difficult game, created in mid-2013, rose to fame recently, with some social network and YouTube users pointing out comically just how frustrating it is to navigate Mario-style pipes with a pixelated bird. “But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem,” explains Nguyen. To solve that, Nguyen removed the app last weekend, and he notes “it’s gone forever.

The popularity of the game, which Nguyen revealed to The Verge generates on average $50,000 per day from in-app ads, appears to have had its negatives. “My life has not been as comfortable as I was before,” says Nguyen. “I couldn’t sleep.” Forbes reports that Nguyen has spent the last few days internet-free and resting up, while also suddenly meeting Vietnam’s deputy prime minister ahead of the publication’s interview. Despite the time for reflection, Nguyen doesn’t believe the sudden removal of the game was a mistake. “I have thought it through,” he explains.

Nguyen also previously revealed to The Verge that he was considering a Flappy Bird sequel, but that now seems unlikely considering he believes it’s an “addictive product.” Instead, Nguyen says he will continue developing games, and he still has two popular titles, Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block, in the Top 20 games on the App Store. “After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident, and I have freedom to do what I want to do.

The sudden and surprising popularity of Flappy Bird has spawned countless clones of the game, as well as a web version that combines Flappy Bird and doge to create a pixelated shiba. Several enterprising eBay users have even listed their phones for sale with a copy of Flappy Bird installed, hoping to cash in on the Flappy Bird craze.

[Source: TheVerge]

Flappy Bird’s Creator Says He’s Removing The Game

Flappy Bird

A tweet from Dong Nguyen, creator of the maddening and virally popular game Flappy Bird, says the game will disappear from the Android and iOS app stores at noon tomorrow. “I cannot take this any more,” he Tweeted today.

He also added:

Then made it clear he has no plans to sell it to other developers or companies.

As Kotaku points out, the game has been around since 2013, but recently became wildly popular, boosted by a Buzzfeed article about its simple yet frustratingly difficult to master gameplay. Could this just be a push for even more downloads? Perhaps—the free, ad-supported game has reportedly been raking in $50,000 a day.

But lately, Nguyen seemed uncomfortable with its popularity, refusing interviews and other press contact. Apparently enough to scuttle the whole thing.

So download it while you can [iTunes Link] [Google Play Link]. Come tomorrow, the game will disappear—just like all the hours you’ve wasted playing it.

Update: 10-02-14 5:07 PM;

At just after 5pm today, he did as promised and took the game down, meaning it is no longer available to download – and prompting a rush of #RIPFlappyBird tweets.

If you try and download it now, it won’t work.

But fear not! If you’ve already downloaded it, it’ll still be there. Just make sure you keep a backup of your phone.

[Sources: Twitter / Gizmodo]

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