Applications & Apps Business

Facebook Reveals Home, Not Smartphone

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Mark Zuckerberg takes the stage and unveils an Facebook mobile strategy involving apps, not devices-- specifically "Facebook Home," an Android homescreen replacement app centered around the social network. 

Facebook HomeIn other words, Facebook kills all rumours and hearsay by wanting to turn every Android device into the once mythical "Facebook Phone."

"A great phone might sell 10 or 20 million units at best," Zuckerberg says at the Home launch event. "Our community as more than 1 billion people in it. Even if we did a good job selling a phone, we would only be serving 1 to 2% of our community and we want to do more than that."

Home comes complete with a rafter of neologisms-- there's Coverfeed (a rotating, visual Facebook news feed occupying the homescreen), Chatheads (handles chatting duties, believe it or not), App Launcher (allows one to view favourite non-Facebook apps) and App Drawer (an "all apps" screen replacement). 

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iPhone App Puts Film in the Academy Awards

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Sugar Man

Searching For Sugar Man is a Swedish-British documentary film that follows two Cape Town fans who want to find out if the rumored death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez was true. Rodriguez's music never took off in the United States but had become wildly popular in South Africa.

The film earned a nomination for Best Documentary at this year’s Academy Awards— only thanks to an iPhone app. Really.

Filmed in 8mm, the movie ran out of funding with a few scenes yet to be shot.

Director Malik Bendjelloul reached out to his iPhone and loaded a $1.99 app (8mm Vintage Camera) to finish the final scenes of his documentary.

That last video footage blends in very well from the scenes recorded on expensive 8mm film—well enough that this documentary already won the Best Documentary category at the 2013 BAFTA awards, and the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award for best international documentary at the Sundance Film Festival and more…

GO Nexvio's 8mm Camera (app)

Windows Phone Store Now with 130,000 WP8 Apps

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Microsoft and Windows developers continue to add to the Windows Phone Store and they report record downloads from consumers.

There are now more than 130,000 apps available for Windows Phone 8 platform. Microsoft claims a 75% increase in app downloads and a 91% increase in paid app revenue.

Windows downloads

Microsoft also says its data shows that people install an average of 55 apps on their devices. These are all good trends to see for Windows Phone 8.More than 40,000 developers signed up since the launch of WP8 with 15,000 new apps optimized for WP8 released just since the launch.

Nothing benchmarks the importance of the platform as much as the gold rush of developers and the take-up of their apps. 

Samsung Takes on BYOD

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Samsung addresses the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 with Knox-- a container solution separating work and personal smartphone use.  

Samsung KnoxPart of the Samsung for Enterprise (SAFE) program, Knox incorporates Security Enhanced (SE) Android from the NSA and integrity management implemented in both hardware and Android framework.

The idea is not new (VMware offers a similar product, Horizon Mobile), but Knox appears to be the easier implementation. Users access the Knox environment via home screen icon, which comes complete with enterprise apps (including email, browser, contacts, calendars, CRM and BI) and MDM, VPN and directory service compatibility. 

IT departments have full control of the Knox environment, while exisiting Android apps automatically get enterprise integration and validation without need for source code changes. 

Knox is already available on SAFE-certified phones, so far being the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II.

Go Samsung Unveils Samsung Knox

Samsung Invests in Database-as-a-Service

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The Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (aka Samsung Ventures) makes a "strategic investment" in database-as-a-service (DBaaS) provider Cloudant. 

CloudantSamsung does not reveal the actual amount of the investment, but says Cloudant technology is “especially critical for large enterprise businesses… [in managing] the proliferation of data to be created by, mobile devices, machine-to-machine technologies, and the ‘Internet of things’ in the future.”

The Cloudant DBaaS loads, stores, analyses and distributes application data for developers of large or fast-growing web and mobile apps, and the company comments it will use the cash to "further improve global data distribution technologies and mobile application data management." 

In other words, the technology sounds ideal should Samsung it want an own enterprise iCloud-style data syncing solution for its legion of smartphones. And with Apple quietly pushing the iPhone as a BlackBerry replacement, it is probable Samsung also wants a slice of the enterprise mobility market. 

Go Samsung Ventures Adds Cloudant to its Portfolio