Steve Lee, Product Director for Google Glass, Isabelle Olsson, the lead industrial designer on Glass, Senior Developer Advocate Timothy Jordan and Glass engineer Charles Mendis held a chat with developers and press on Thursday at the Google I/O conference.
Jordan announced that Google didn’t have an updated timeline for the release of Glass (it previously said that it would be showing up for consumers next year) but did confirm that it had ‘invited’ all 2,000 Explorers who had pre-ordered at Google I/O last year to pick up their glass.
During the chat, Lee announced that Google would be shipping one software update every month with new features, polish and bug fixes. Many of the updates would incorporate suggestions from developers and Glass Explorers.
As far as what kinds of apps they would individually like to see on Glass, Lee says he’d love to see fitness apps on the device. Mendis says that he’d love to see payment apps integrated with the app, especially when he’s shopping with his kids. Olsson said she loves Karaoke and wouldn’t mind seeing some sort of experience show up on Glass.
Continue reading here: Google Glass will get one software update a month with new features, polish and bug fixes
Native Client – a technology that allows developers to run native compiled C and C++ code as part of their web apps – has long been a part of Google Chrome. Even though other browser vendors haven’t adopted it yet, Google is clearly putting quite a few resources behind this technology and at I/O this year, it announced Portable Native Client (or PNaCl, which Google says we should pronounce as “pinnacle”). PNaCl is now available in developer preview in Chrome 29 and will slowly find its way into the stable version over the coming months.
PNaCl, the company says, will allow developers to write web applications “that are truly architecture-independent.” It’s essentially an architecture-independent version Native Client, so unlike now, developers can write their apps and know that they will run on ARM and X86 (both 32-bit and 64-bit). PNaCl, the team says, uses an LLVM compiler infrastructure with a “compile -> link -> translate” workflow that creates an intermediary bitcode, which is then translated locally for the specific infrastructure.
That’s some pretty complicated stuff, but essentially it will allow developers to write high-performance apps that offer near-native speeds for today’s existing platforms and they can be sure that these apps will also run on new architectures as they become available without having to rebuild their apps (assuming, of course, that Google will continue to support this product).
Rovio Entertainment, maker of the popular line of “Angry Birds” games, announced today that its expanding its business to include third-party titles, which it will publish, distribute and market to consumers. The new program is being called “Rovio Stars,” and makes available the company’s expertise as well as its marketing teams to other publishers. The first title to be released under the new effort is “Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage,” by Nitrome Ltd.
The Icebreaker game, which follows the adventures of a lone Viking, will be followed by medieval adventure and puzzle game “Tiny Thief,” made by 5 Ants.
This is the first time Rovio has included third-party titles in its lineup, the company announced this morning via a blog post and press release.
“We want to help the developers to give these games that last coat of polish, publish the games and find their audience,” said Rovio’s Director of Development Kalle Kaivola. “We’re focusing on a small, select number of games, and each Rovio Stars launch will be an event of its own.”
That “last coat of polish” means Rovio will actually assist its partners in finalizing game production and with post-production, the company explains. Rovio notes that it’s looking for titles in “an advanced stage of production” – that is, in either alpha or playable format.
Rovio’s experts will specifically help to mentor developers in order to “turn their games into blockbusters,” as well as market them, provide PR, and help publishers distribute titles to all the relevant app stores.
Developers can now apply for consideration as one of Rovio’s next picks on the Rovio Stars dedicated website, where the company provides a submission form. Interested parties can attach screenshots and/or video alongside a description of their game. For now, only mobile titles are being considered. Expecting a high volume of submission, the company says it can’t promise that everyone will receive a response.
Rovio has long since moved beyond being only a games publisher, and is now more of media company offering cartoons, toys, and other merchandise like t-shirts, books, and even soda. It has debuted an “Angry Birds Space Encounter” at the Kennedy Space Center, and Angry Birds-themed parks. It also recently partnered with Dreamworks to release “The Croods,” a game based on the animated film.
These expansions have been working well for the company so far. In April, Rovio announced its 2012 sales were up 101 percent to $195 million, and net profit was up to $71 million. 45 percent of Rovio’s revenue now comes from “consumer products,” versus 30 percent the year prior. The company also has 1.7 billion downloads across its properties, and sees hundreds of millions of active users per month.
Details regarding how Rovio Stars will generate revenue – through a revenue share, perhaps, or other fees, were not immediately provided. We’ve reached out to the company for more information and are waiting on a response. (Update to follow).
Read the original: Angry Birds Maker Rovio Will Now Publish And Market Select Third-Party Games
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has revealed that there are now over 120,000 apps in the BlackBerry World storefront.
To coincide with the milestone, Skype will be launching its cross-platform messaging service on the BlackBerry Z10 alongside the BlackBerry 10.1 firmware update, which will be rolling out to all users later today. Heins also confirmed that a number of other recognisable apps, such as Moog, iHeartRadio, SoundHound and Bloomberg Hub, will be available in the BlackBerry World store following the BlackBerry 10.1 release.
Skype has emphasized that its BlackBerry 10 app is still technically a preview version, although it will come with all of the usual features such as free voice and video calling, instant messages and the ability to call both landlines and mobile phones. The company says it will continue to work with BlackBerry “over the next few months” to refine and improve the app ahead of a full release.
Skype launched its app as a preview version for the BlackBerry Q10 in April; the second smartphone to adopt the BlackBerry 10 operating system, and one that has already been updated to version 10.1.
Heins also announced the BlackBerry Q5, a new mid-range smartphone running BlackBerry 10, at the company’s BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando today. It’s aimed at emerging markets and sports a familiar QWERTY keyboard, as well as a 3.1-inch touchscreen for all the usual swipes and gestures supported by the new platform. BlackBerry says the Q5 will be available in “selected markets” in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia – including the Asia Pacific region – and Latin America when it launches in July.
The 120,000 figure announced today is a significant improvement on the 70,000 apps that BlackBerry 10 launched with earlier this year. The issue, as always, is depth and quality throughout the store. Dozens of Web apps, combined with the absence of big name releases such as Instagram and Vine, will do little to change public perception about the BlackBerry 10 platform.
Image Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images
BlackBerry has announced today that its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) messenger service will be launching on iOS and Android this summer. The new cross-platform app will support all Apple hardware running iOS 6 and higher, as well as Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above.
It means that for the first time, BlackBerry owners will be able to communicate with users on other mobile platforms, for free, using the BBM service. The new apps will support multi-person conversations, voice note sharing and BlackBerry Groups; the latter of which lets users set up group for up to 30 people in order to share calendar information, photos and other files.
“For BlackBerry, messaging and collaboration are inseparable from the mobile experience, and the time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service,” Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President of Software Product Management and Ecosystem at BlackBerry said.
“BBM has always been one of the most engaging services for BlackBerry customers, enabling them to easily connect while maintaining a valued level of personal privacy. We’re excited to offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community.”
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins made the announcement at BlackBerry Live shortly after unveiling BBM Channels, a new social feature which will allow any company, celebrity or lifestyle brand to create a public page for BBM users to follow. Channel owners can send out news or status updates at anytime, which users can interact with by leaving a comment or ‘like’.
The concept feels very similar to Plus Friend Home, a combination of both instant messaging and passive social network accounts which was recently unveiled by Korean-startup Kakao for its cross-platform messaging app Kakao Talk.
It’s only a beta program for now, but BlackBerry plans to update the feature every two to four weeks ahead of a full launch later this summer. BBM Channels can post news and status updates at anytime, and users who follow these accounts will be able to comment and like on them too.
BlackBerry says BBM Channels will be added to its upcoming Android and iOS apps later this year, alongside voice and video calling, subject to approval by the App Store and Play Store.
Heins also announced today that BBM now has over 60 million monthly active users, which send and receive over 10 billion messages every day – twice as many as any other mobile messaging app. The number of daily active users that connect with other BBM enthusiasts for at least an hour and a half every day has also risen to 51 million.
It should come as no surprise that BlackBerry wants to expand the BBM service to new users. The rise of cross-platform mobile messaging apps such as Viber and WhatsApp has slowed the growth in BBM users, and perhaps even put off new consumers from switching to the BlackBerry 10 platform. The addition of BBM Channels is an interesting move, but one that will likely struggle to gain the same critical mass of users enjoyed by Twitter or Facebook.
A bold move, or just a case of too little, too late?
Image Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images
View original post here: BlackBerry is finally taking BBM cross-platform, launching on iOS and Android this summer