Friday, 26 April 2013

The Birds Are In Full Song - Twitter #music

We’re not on about a real bird in this instance, we are on about social networking website, Twitter, who has launched its new music app.

Twitter has exploded in popularity over the last seven years and has now turned an ear to music by creating a ‘music-discovery’ app. This app is called ‘Twitter #music’, which is a fairly ordinary name but there is not much ordinary about its intentions.

Twitter #music claims to ‘change the way that people find their music’. Although this may seem like a very bold statement on the outset, they may have just done exactly that. The app, unlike many other music streaming websites, has narrowed their focus in order to create a simple and accessible platform.

The app allows the user to collect music from nowhere other than Twitter, which means that there are lists for more ‘Popular’ music as well as ‘Emerging Tracks’. This is not all; Twitter #music also allows you to see what other people are listening to with the #NowPlaying chart of songs that get tweeted by the user. And just like the normal platform of Twitter, where it suggests friends you might know, it also suggests artists that you may enjoy too.

The reason this app is destined for success is because Twitter acquired a company called We Are Hunted, who are known for their helping hands in other music sites like MySpace Music and, more recently, Spotify. So it has a good pedigree!

This means that this app was not just quickly thrown together over a couple of months, instead they have built a team of people that know exactly what they are doing and have created something quite exciting.

App’s are extremely convenient and this app is no different. By simply clicking on an artists’ profile you can easily follow them as well as be able to see exactly who they are following too, which means it has a great exploration aspect too.

Although, it may be worth knowing that as it has only recently been released, it is only available in selected countries. Thankfully, the UK, US, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand are all part of this list.

Friday, 19 April 2013

The NHS now has an App Store

The NHS has recently released their own App store of apps that are safe and trusted which aim to help people with any problems they have.

The purpose of this App store is to make it more convenient for the general public to find health and care apps that will answer any questions they may have. The apps in this store aims to cover certain criteria in order to cater for the public and their problems.

This criteria of apps includes:

Informational – This is an app that will provide any general information about a particular topic. This will not be a personalised description though.

Monitoring – This type of app collects any information that is related to the health and care of the individual. These include things like weight, exercise and any data collected by near-patient devices.

Decision Support – This app provides personal information and guidance that has been accumulated by any data entered by the individual. This app will then create an automatic calculation or decision on what data has been entered to inform you of any problems.

Transactional – This type of app includes things like booking an appointment or requesting a prescription.

Appware are also proud to announce that the NHS has included an app created by ourselves in this store. This app is one of the first apps within the store and has been created to make the mundane task of cleaning teeth a lot more entertaining.

The main feature of this app, named Brush DJ, has an inbuilt timer that will play two minutes of music, randomly selected from the user’s device, throughout the duration of you brushing your teeth. Not only does this make brushing teeth much more fun but it also makes sure that you brush your teeth for the correct amount of time.

Other features include a reminder that can be set to make sure that the user brushes their teeth at least two times a day, how often to change their toothbrush and when to visit the dentist.

If you think that you could do with an app similar to this then you can go and check the NHS App store and download any app that you feel can benefit you and your health.

Friday, 12 April 2013

The Mobile Phone: 40 Years On

It has been forty years since some clever so and so made sure that we never lose contact or be out of touch with the people we need to speak to.

That clever inventor was Martin Cooper, who brought us the Motorola DynaTac in 1973, when the first ever call on a mobile phone was made. Although this piece of technology was extremely ahead of the times and paved the way for all of our handsets today, it is now considered a ‘brick’.

That is because the original DynaTac was in fact 10 inches in length and weighed around 2.5 pounds. If we compare that to the slim and slender models of mobile phones we have today, which weighs between four and size ounces, we can see how far our handsets have come. It definitely makes a difference to our pockets!

The DynaTac contained 30 circuit boards, boasted a talk time of up to 35 minutes and took about ten hours to charge up fully. The size, weight and limitations of this device are classed as ‘laughable’ by today’s society but we can’t deny that it made history. When the DynaTac was first introduced, there were only a few people that used it. If we compare this again to today, mobile phones are everywhere, with around 6 billion people owning a handset. As technology continues to advance, this figure is only going to increase.

A decade later and games were beginning to be added to the handsets with an influx of Nokia’s introducing the phenomenon which was called ‘Snake’. This game required the player to control the snake around the screen collecting food and if the snake touched the wall, the game was over.

Forty years after the first phone call was made, we have phones with touchscreens, Bluetooth, Internet browsing, cameras and apps with HTC, Blackberry and the iPhone being just some of the main brands of mobile technology. Mobile phones of today also boast hours and hours of talk time, take only an hour or so to charge and definitely do not have 30 circuit boards.

As we sit here and celebrate the forty years of the mobile phone, we ask you … what was your first ever handset?

Friday, 5 April 2013

Spotify And Ford Join Forces

Spotify and Ford has put their heads together to create an app which means its users can listen to all of their favourite tracks whilst they drive.

The two branded big-wigs made the announcement official at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Ford originally launched its Ford Developer Program at CES 2013 in January which meant that its users could add commands to their smartphone so they could effectively have hands-free voice control whilst driving. This has attracted over 2,500 registered users since its release.

The Ford Sync AppLink has been created to let smartphone owners integrate their apps into the software which is something that Spotify is looking to do. The Ford Sync AppLink has already been used in over one million cars throughout the United States. With this success Ford are looking to focus their visions on the European market too.

Users will be able to control their smartphone, car systems and their music with this AppLink and Spotify which makes voice activation whilst driving much safe and more convenient.

Spotify is one of the largest music streaming services and provides a vast range of music from a number of major and independent record labels which includes other big names like Sony and Universal. This service has an estimated user base of around 20 million people.

This is the very first time Spotify has worked with an automotive manufacturer though, which makes this a great combination for Ford who is likely to benefit greatly from this venture. The Spotify service, online and on your smartphone, is a paid service which normally costs its users between £5 and £10 per month.

The introduction of Spotify into the AppLink is expected to hit the United States in the upcoming weeks and is likely to be a huge success. If this reaches it is predicted success in the US then it is likely to be released throughout Europe later on this year. If you are interested further in this Ford Sync AppLink , then keep your eyes and ears peeled for any emerging information on the release of the software in Europe.