Friday, 27 June 2014

Google Glass Is Here - And We Have It!

Our MD Richard Eaton sporting our
very own Glass at Appware HQ

If you’ve been one of those people patiently waiting for Google Glass to come to the UK, then we have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is it’s here.

You can now get your hands (and ears and nose) on Google Glass, although it’s not as easy as popping to the shop to buy it – it’s much more complicated.

The bad news is you can only get your mitts on them if you’re over 18 and own a credit card. If you fit this
criteria you can then attempt to join Google’s UK Explorer Program, which will mean you can then get yourself a prototype headset if you stump up £1,000. Simple right?!

This price tag has already been met with a number of critics who have said Google Glass is overpriced and is reported in the US to give some people headaches, not forgetting making you look a bit strange too.

If the £1,000 price tag doesn’t faze you, then perhaps you want to make the Google Glass look a bit more stylish? If you do, then you can get some designer frames for it so you don’t look a complete “Glasshole” (a term coined to mean someone who wears Google Glass). This is also important for anyone who already wears prescription glasses as normal lenses can be fitted to these. If you don't already wear glasses then there are a variety of sunglass shades available too. Thankfully in the UK for your £1,000 you'll get these for "free" rather than having to stump up even more money.

So, if you’re desperate to get Google Glass you may have to think about selling a kidney to do so. Unfortunately that's the high price for being such an early adopter. This has always been the case with technology though, just take a look at the cost of the original camcorders compared to what they are now!

Here at Appware we decided that it's a price worth paying so are one of the first in the UK to have some. Our MD Richard Eaton wrote up his initial impressions on his personal microblog here if you'd like to read more about them. We're also happy to demonstrate the glasses and will be doing some presentations and talks around the country of Glass shortly. Just contact us if you'd like to know where and when or if you've got an event you'd like us to present at.

As Glass also run Apps then it won't be a surprise to hear that we're already experimenting. Watch this space to see our latest App developments for Glass which will no doubt be some of the first Glass Apps developed in the UK!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Facebook Tries To Conquer Snapchat

Facebook has showed its intention to conquer the social world again by launching a photo-messaging app.

Just one week after accidentally releasing the app on Apple’s App Store, it has now been officially launched in hope of becoming the next big thing in photo-sharing.

The app, known as Slingshot, differs from what is already out there slightly in that the only way you can ‘unlock’ the photo your friend has sent you, is by sending them one back, or ‘sling-it’ back.

Similar to Snapchat though, once the image has been viewed, it gets deleted. Another similarity is that you can also scribble or type all over the photos, something you can also do on Snapchat.

The creators of the app said this on their social media page: “Slingshot was built so that everybody is a creator and nobody feels like just a spectator.”

In 2012, Facebook purchased the photo-sharing network Instagram for a figure said to be around the £589 million mark, and today they are using their knowledge from this to create an app that they think will gain more users than its nearest competitor Snapchat.

Facebook had tried to create a similar app before called Poke, but this was abandoned recently and had been labelled by many as a ‘copy-cat app’. Facebook created Poke after being snubbed by Snapchat when they offered them $3 billion to buy the company. Slingshot has been given a number of different features that other apps don’t have to avoid being given the ‘copycat’ label again.

For Facebook users, it is simple to download the app and login using your normal logins but for those that do not have a Facebook account, you can sign up without having to create a new account.  All the new users will need is their mobile number so that they can connect with friends in their contact list, something that is also very similar to Snapchat.

It will be interesting to see how well Slingshot will do, given its similarities to Snapchat, and whether it will claim the crown of being the best instant photo-sharing app of today.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Gear Your Phone Up For The World Cup

Like it or not, the next month or so will be full of World Cup Facebook updates, office agendas including whose team is doing well in the sweepstake and a serious lack of cars on the roads in the evenings.

Yesterday started the biggest competition in the whole of football, the World Cup in Brazil. If you find yourself getting into the spirit much to your own dislike, you can join in the discussions and keep up-to-date with what’s going on through a selection of World Cup apps.

Regardless of where you are, you can get the latest action with the help of these apps:

1. FIFA Official App
When it comes to trustworthy information, this app has to be the winner. FIFA’s app covers every angle so you can follow your national team, see when their next game is and see who the opposition’s most dangerous player is with the team profiles.

2. World Soccer Finals
If you’re obsessed with football, this one might be for you. This app contains a whole host of information on live matches including line-ups, red and yellow cards, results and player information so you can see who’s playing well and who should be taken out of your dream team.

3. Squawka
This is an app for those people who like to go to the pub and share their opinions, and want to back it up with cold hard stats. This app is assisted by Opta, the fountain of football knowledge. If you and your mate disagree over who is the better player at the world cup, this app can compare the two and you can see who’s right. A pint to the one who wins!

4. BBC Sport
This app is already owned by a number of sports fans and for good reason too; it sends you updates when someone scores and allows you to read a full commentary if you can’t get to a TV (or just prefer not to listen to the commentary).

5. ITV Player
Perhaps you’re stuck at work and can’t get near a TV? Well, the ITV Player app lets you stream the match live so you can catch every minute of the action. Although, your boss might get a bit suspicious if you take 45 minutes to go for a wee.

The best part about all of these apps is they’re free, so you can keep up with all of the goals, cheers and crying without having to pay a penny.

Friday, 6 June 2014

5 Best Free Android Games

If you’re one of those people who gets fed up of hearing, “I’ve got an app for that”, now is your chance to shine as we go through the 5 best free android games available to download now.

The ‘free-to-play’ market has seen a drop over recent months due to a lot of gamers getting fed up with the in-app purchases but the world of mobile gaming is far from over, as these five games will prove.

1. The Simpsons Tapped Out
We all loved watching The Simpsons growing up, but now the loveable Springfield characters have their own mobile game and it is a lot better than you would have thought it to be. EA have created a brilliant game that will make your weekly train commutes feel like a doddle. The storyline is creative and long enough for you not to need to get a new game for a while.

2. Angry Birds Space
Angry Birds has arguably been one of the most successful gaming apps of all time, and there has been a whole host of apps to branch off from it, but Angry Birds Space is, in our opinion, one of the best. It introduces clever physics with puzzling levels to create an annoyingly addictive game, just like all of the other Angry Birds games.

3. Dots
Dots is possibly one of the simplest games you will ever play, but that’s what makes it brilliant. All you have to do is draw lines between the coloured dots, then once these are linked, they disappear and new ones drop in. But, be warned, once you download this free game you may get surprisingly addicted.

4. Stick Cricket
This quirky cricket game reduces cricket to its simplest form and all you really have to do is smash the ball as hard as you can every time it’s bowled at you. Once you get into a rhythm, you will feel like Freddy Flintoff, but at the start, you definitely won’t. Keep at it!

5. Plague Inc
The idea of this game might seem a bit on the crazy side, but it is a strategy game that cannot be put down. The idea of this game is to place a virus in a country and attempt to spread it across the whole globe by getting it in in the air, water or through human contact. The aim is to wipe out each country gradually, but it is not as easy as it sounds.

So, the next time you need to fill that 10 minute void in your day, turn to one of these great free apps.