Everybody wants their own app store and cloud, and Valve is no different. The source of many of the greatest games in the past few years (Portal 1 and 2, people!), Valve’s Steam game platform has become renowned for its ease of use in buying games and the Source game engine is no slouch, either.
Steam is about to open up a whole new world of apps beyond games, however. Full blown applications are due to hit the Steam platform September 5, and will range from “creativity to productivity” as Valve’s Mark Richardson is quoted in Forbes.
The Steam mobile app accidentally leaked its own appsplosion last month, showing off categories such as ‘Accounting’ and ‘Photo Editing.’ Obviously a lot of those app categories are useful when making games, and it would be terribly cool if Steam Greenlight was somehow tied to a series of tools for creators to build games that went straight to the store. Steam would, in effect, have an end-to-end ecosystem for game developers.
According to Valve’s statement, its customers want their apps on Steam, and Valve is prepared to let them. Perhaps this is partially motivated by Valve CEO Gabe Newell’s perception of Windows 8 as heading down the road of a closed platform, and Valve wants a foothold? Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what apps appear on Steam.
Spotify’s BlackBerry app exited beta and was made freely available to a selection of compatible handsets back in December, but it still wasn’t available in BlackBerry’s official app store. Until now that is.
The app was first announced back in October but was available only as a preview for users who wanted to give it an early try and provide feedback. When it was launched properly just before Christmas, users had to direct the browser on their phone to m.spotify.com and follow the installation instructions.
However, as with Spotify on other mobile operating systems, you can now access the app directly from the manufacturer’s official store, in this case BlackBerry App World.
With 2.5 stars out of a possible 5 so far, it’s not fairing terribly well. But now at least it will gain more exposure and perhaps get a bigger uptake from the BlackBerry community.
➤ Spotify: BlackBerry
Go here to read the rest: Spotify’s mobile app finally hits BlackBerry App World
There are plenty of ways to get your flight school kicks with your smartphone or tablet — this missile shooting Griffin chopper comes to mind — but few manage to ooze as much style (or cost as much money) as Parrot’s AR.Drone 2.0.
Getting the thing ready to fly is surprisingly simple. Once you’ve popped the battery into place, and turned the thing on, the Drone creates its own Wi-Fi network that the control device connects to. From there, just fire up the FreeFlight app on your iOS or Android device and you’re off to the races.
The big draw for some will be the ability to record the Drone’s aerial journeys. In addition to providing the pilot with an idea of where the drone is going, the small camera pod mounted on the drone’s nose is capable of capturing photos as well as 720p video. The camera’s small sensor means that quality tends to take a hit in low light, but the bigger issue for some is the tendency to see a wiggling effect in recorded video because of the four rotors whirring away.
Let’s be honest here — it’s not the most useful thing to have in your gadget closet (doesn’t everyone have one of those?) unless you’ve got a thing for aerial photography or not-so-covertly spying on people. What it lacks in pure utilitarian functionality it makes up for in sheer fun. There’s something terribly fun about tilting your smartphone around and watching this little quad-rotor aircraft dart around in response to it.
It’s even surprisingly easy to fly, provided you start out slow and put in a few minutes of fiddling first. Sadly, our Mobile Editor Matt Burns didn’t take that rule to heart, as he quickly crashed our own Drone at Disrupt. C’est la vie, but be prepared to do your due diligence if you don’t want to screw up a pricy piece of machinery. That said, Parrot has made it terribly easy to wow your friends with some neat aerial tricks — just double tap a button from within the app to make the Drone flip, and take in the applause.
The Drone is a hell of a lot of fun to play with, but there’s always that price tag to consider — it’ll run you a considerable $299. The responsible thing may be to take that money and use it to buy a rock-solid juicer instead, but I think your mental well-being is better served by the ability to explore the skies (or annoy your neighbors).
Go here to read the rest: Gadget Of The Week: The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0