Microsoft's latest OS update to Windows 8.1 has a lot to offer to app developers, individual users and companies. Now available to the public, this upgrade has introduced many advanced features, also improving on existing functionality.
Offering Windows 8.1 Pro PC and tablet users the facility of sideloading apps without the need to purchase an activation key, the company has also lowered the cost of purchasing volume license purchasing for companies. Windows Phone 8.1 aims at increasing efficiency and productivity in the office environment, by presenting various advanced MDM, app management and security features.
This update, however, has attracted mixed reviews from users. Some feel that the giant has yet not done enough for developers, as the cost has not really come down that much. Other users argue that sideloading may not be a viable, in spite of it being supported by Microsoft.
What do you think about the company's latest endeavor? Will it catch up in a big way, especially with the enterprise sector? Share your opinions with us.
The Game Developers Conference 2014, which was held from March 17-21 in San Francisco, was a huge success. The event focused on helping game app developers create better and more efficient apps across multiple mobile platforms; be found easier in the app marketplace and also make more profits with better marketing and advertising.
Including expert game developers speaking on all of the above-mentioned subjects, the mega event also featured several innovative new devices and improvements on existing gadgets as well.
While Unity Technologies showed off its new Unity 5 engine; Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus stole the show with their state-of-the-art Virtual Reality headsets. Indie gaming also came to the fore, with giants such as Microsoft and Sony clearly showing interest in the field.
The dates for GDC 2015 were also announced at the conference. Those of you wanting to register for the upcoming GDC Europe 2014 can do so by visiting their Website.
The deal between Nokia and Microsoft is not exactly going as per plan, what with unexpected delays and speed bumps hindering the process. While the Finnish giant has been registering grave financial losses over the last few months, it is rumored that it will be introducing 2 new smartphones alongside Microsoft at the latter's Build Conference, scheduled from April 02-04 this year.
Another rumor surrounding the Finnish giant is that it plans to invest its energies into manufacturing smart wearables. It is believed that the company will soon announce its smart watch, sometime later this year.
The smart watch may debut with the much-awaited Windows Phone 8.1 OS and may eventually support other major OS' as well. It is expected to integrate within itself, GPS, fitness and some other features.
None of this is official yet and it could take months before we hear anything about this. Anyways, we always strive to bring you the latest, hottest news as and when it happens in the mobile industry. So watch this space for more, you guys!
Close on the heels of the hugely successful MWC 2014 comes the F8 Facebook developer conference. Coming back after a hiatus of 3 whole years, this mega global event is scheduled to be held on April 30 and will include senior engineers from Facebook, Parse and Instagram, plus 1,500 mobile and Web app developers from all over the world.
This time, Facebook will not be announcing any new feature or innovation. Instead, it will focus on developers, helping them contribute more to the social network, while also making more money via their apps.
The conference will include developer sessions, one-on-one interaction with experienced Facebook and Parse personnel, lunches and after-parties, to promote further interaction among the participants.
Those wanting to register either for the conference or for the online livestream can do so by visiting the F8 Website.
The constant growth and evolution of mobile is giving rise to a sea change in mobile marketing and advertising as well. Newer technologies are now opening up more doors for companies to reach users in multiple ways.
While traditional methods of advertising made way to accommodate QR codes in the past, NFC tags are the latest thing to catch the fancy of marketers and publishers. Offering several features and conveniences, the latter seems to be emerging as a major marketing channel for B2B companies.
Mobile users too are more open to browse and purchase products via their smartphones and tablets, while on the go. Advertisers are using this new trend to tempt mobile users with irresistible offers, also extending to them easy purchase and payment options on mobile.
I recently posted an article, giving advertisers tips to maximize visitor conversion. Take a look at it and let me know if there is something I missed mentioning out there.
I recently brought you an article about cross-platform app development, analyzing the efficacy of multi-platform tools available today. Well, irrespective of the many problems developers face while taking their apps to multiple platforms, they continue with their efforts, as it helps them reach many more users than they would, with a single platform.
Microsoft is reportedly considering taking Xbox Live on a multi-platform journey; it is believed to be encouraging developers to integrate the service with iOS and Android game apps. The company may be thinking of creating something similar to Apple's Game Center, thereby reaching several more users with its platform.
In the meantime, Apple's very popular game, Threes, has now come to Android. Threes is a highly addictive strategy-based game, presented by Hidden Variable Studios, the makers of Tic Tactics and Bad It! This one topped the App Store charts in no time at all and is set to create waves among Android users as well. Threes is currently available on Google Play for a limited time discount of $1.99
NFC technology has started to gain immense popularity, both among individual users and industries. The manufacture of NFC-enabled mobile devices is expected to rise multi-fold in the coming few years.
There is now news of a new tokenization framework being developed by EMVCo, which would enable EMV transactions to be made via mobile phones; supporting a vast range of technologies, including contactless payments, Bluetooth LE and QR codes.
Once implemented, this technology could enable users to carry out EMV transactions, using physical cards and/or their mobile devices. The tokenization system replaces a traditional card account number with a unique payment token, which limits its usage on a certain device.
This move could create a significant impact on mobile payment industry and possibly provide an answer to the seemingly never-ending NFC vs. EMV debate. Of course, this system is only in its planning stages and so, will take time to actually come into effect.
It is 2 years since the Android Market was rebranded as the Google Play Store. In order to celebrate its second birthday, Google is offering a discount on several apps, games and media featuring in its storefront. While users can avail free in-app bonuses for certain apps and games, several Dr. Seuss books are available for as low as $1. The company is also offering hefty discounts on some popular movie titles as well.
In the meantime, Target is featuring discounts on Apple products, beginning Sunday, March 09, 2014. Not only that, the store is additionally offering trade-in promotion, whereby customers stand to save up to $150 while purchasing a new iPad Mini or iPad Air in exchange for their working iPad 2.
Target is also extending an iPhone offer, whereby customers can get up to $50 off toward purchasing a new iPhone 5C or 5S. These offers are available in-store and will go on till March 22 this year.
The Mobile World Congress, which went on from February 24-27 this year, revealed some interesting and intriguing new mobile gadgets. While the event saw the introduction of highly advanced smartphones, the highlight was the entry of a whole slew of wearable smart gadgets.
Sony is obviously all set to usher in the 4K era, with its Xperia Z2 and a line of 4K TVs. Yet another surprise element was that of Ford showing off its impressive new 2015 Focus, which improves upon its previous model, also including an 8-inch smart display offering users better navigation, location-based and other search features while at the wheel.
What gadgets did you most like at the MWC 2014? Which among them do you think will be the most practicable and useful? Share your thoughts with us!
Java is one of the easiest and most popular languages for developers. One can find several Java IDEs (or integrated development environments) today, each one offering different features and utilities.
What is your preferred IDE and why? Also, can you think of other free platforms which I missed including in my list? Do let me know!