Posts with tag ios app
An anonymous stream of hurt
When I heard about Yik Yak earlier, I was intrigued. The application, available now and released earlier this year for Apple iOS devices and Android devices, is simple – and familiar – enough: a continuous stream of posts that users of the app can reply to, favorite, or down vote. The twist? It’s entirely anonymous, and posts only show up if you’re within a 1.5 mile radius of the one who made the post. No user names, no profiles, no profile pictures – just a stream of untagged, completely anonymous – and uncensored – posts.
If that sounds familiar, I’m not surprised – the concept is essentially exactly the same as that of the Google Ventures funded Secret application, which allowed for the same concept with a similar execution. Unlike Secret, however, which didn’t find any degree of success outside of Silicone Valley, Yik Yak is enjoying a huge boom of attention all across America, specifically around – you guessed it – schools. For whatever reason, it appears that if you give college aged students access to a totally anonymous, uncensored stream, it’s pretty likely to turn into an anonymous stream of hurt.
That’s a really tame example of the sort of posts one can find while looking through a local Yik Yak stream, especially when browsing through the application in a college town like the one that I’ve spent the last couple of years around. On top of simply crazy posts above, Yik Yak is home to offensive and hateful posts towards women, homosexuals, teachers, undergraduate students, older individuals, etcetera and so forth – and that’s just from spending twenty minutes browsing through my feed.
And perhaps predictably, the negativity that Yik Yak is shepherding is having an effect – The Boston Globe this week ran an article earlier this week chronicling how Asian American college student Jamie Ciocon downloaded the application only to become “repulsed” by an avalanche of demeaning posts about Asian Americans.
Yik Yak founders Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll, two college undergraduate students, say that they’ve created Yik Yak as a means to give college students a platform. While it’s important that these sort of applications exist to promote freedom of speech, it’s also important to take a look at how these communities can build a sphere of influence around cyber bullying. Cyber bullying has become a hot topic issue these days as government officials and policy officials have continuously debated the need for anti-cyber bullying laws. Yik Yak, Secret, and other anonymous communities those significant roadblocks to these initiatives as it can be near impossible to find the origin of the posts under certain circumstances.
Dark, beautiful, and available now
Spotify, the free music streaming library that we all know and (mostly) love, is now rolling out a huge redesign that effects its entire portfolio of products, including Spotify on the Web, Spotify for Mobile, and the desktop Spotify client. The new design, which is the first major redesign since the service initially launched in 2008, is both familiar and entirely new.
Spotify has really emphasized the imagery of the music industry in this update, removing plenty of white space in order to make album artwork the real star of the show. Artwork is prominently displayed in big, beautiful blocks of icons, while the design uses a new dark underlying design to really put emphasis on the artwork and make it “pop”. Whereas the old version of Spotify relied on columns of text to get context on whatever it was the user was looking for, now the new design really makes that a visual experience, something that should make finding just the right song a whole lot easier.
The new Spotify design also fits right in with Apple’s latest and greatest mobile operating system, iOS 7, making use of transparency, blurring effects, and minimal, white buttons for playback controls and symbolism. The design is arguably most beautiful here, on Apples platform (seen above), because of how well it really fits in – Spotify now feels almost integrated into the inherent design of iOS, rather than an exception to the rule – and the result is quite stunning. Apple could really learn a lesson or two here from Spotify on any potential iTunes redesign.
The new Spotify design should be now available for your Mac, PC, iOS, Android, and on the Web. No word yet on whether or not other platforms, such as Linux, will be seeing an update.
If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of folks who likely got their hands on the real, original Flappy Bird game before developer Dong Nguyen took it down to protect your, and his, sanity – then good job! But if you’re not and you’ve been constantly searching around the App Store or Google Play to get something that’ll give you a rough idea of what the original game was like, we’re sorry to say that you’ll now have a harder time of it. An Apple representative has confirmed that the company is removing and actively denying Flappy Bird clones on the App Store, reportedly telling developers that they’ve “found your app name attempts to leverage a popular app.”
Google is reportedly very much doing the same, however the company isn’t commenting on the news that Flappy Bird wannabees are going the way of the dodo. With Mr. Nguyen appearing increasingly unlikely that he’ll ever put our good friend Flappy back on the App Store, you may wanna act fast if you wanna get something that even remotely resembles his breakout hit.
It's gone forever
Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen has at long last made his first public interview since the sudden removal of Flappy Bird from the App Store and Google Play. While Mr. Nguyen originally only claimed that he removed the insanely addicting and popular game from the App Store because he couldn’t “take it anymore”, we’re now finding out more behind his actual reasoning behind removing the popular game.
In the interview, which was conducted with Forbes, Nguyen claims that the removal of Flappy Bird has been significantly “thought through”, claiming that fans of the game should in no way expect it to reappear any time soon. The actual reason behind the removal? “It happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem,” Nguyen says, seemingly pointing out the hundreds of thousands of collective hours likely spent smashing a small pixelated bird into a SNES era sprite of a Mario World-inspired pipe, or the fact that a busted old iPhone 4 fetched hundreds of thousands of dollars on eBay just because it had Flappy Bird. “My life has not been as comfortable as I was before… I couldn’t sleep.”
While Nguyen has spent the last couple of days offline, avoiding his online profiles and not responding to emails or tweets, Nguyen did claim in his last tweet that he will continue to develop games, and prior to the removal of Flappy Bird he was said to have been considering a sequel to the game. The question is – now that Nguyen has achieved such an immense level of fame, will he ever be able to develop a true indie game – one that won’t commandeer thousands of independent blog posts, hundreds of thousands of downloads, and fan frenzy? Or has Nguyen, like those at popular Minecraft developer Mojang, already crossed the threshold of “indie” developer to superstar?
Someone is making undeserved bank
That’s the $4000,000 question of the day, isn’t it? Why would someone pay $400,000 for an old iPhone 4 with a copy of Flappy Bird installed? This may sound like a joke, but it isn’t – eBay is currently being absolutely littered with iPhones and other similar devices with the infamous Flappy Bird mobile game preinstalled after Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen pulled his insanely popular game from Google Play and the Apple App Store. And as promised, one such listing is for an old, kind of beat up sounding iPhone 4 – and its currently going for over $400,000 with over 200 bids.
The success of Flappy Bird on its own is insane enough – a simple game with cool, retro style SNES-era graphics that challenges the player to keep a pathetic, yet adorable looking bird with abnormally large lips afloat and guide him through a series of verticle pipes by simply tapping. The game shot up to the top of the App Store charts seemingly out of the blue after months of sitting unnoticed on the App Store. The explosion of press, attention, and even death threats led Mr. Nguyen to pull the game, apparently skyrocketing the value of any device with Flappy Bird already installed.
Let’s assume, just for a second, that it’s not completely insane that having a mobile game installed has the ability to raise the value of your phone or tablet. Even pretending that that’s normal and not a sign of the impending apocalypse, why would someone pay over $400,000 for an iPhone 4 – a nearly four year old smartphone – with it installed? Do these bidders know what you could do with $400,000? You could feed the homeless. You could pay for sick children’s medical bills. You could donate it to a worthy charity. You could fill an above ground swimming pool with it and lounge on top of it, if your life is like something out of the movie The Wolf of Wallstreet. Or, apparently, you could buy an iPhone 4 with Flappy Bird installed.
I’ll be right back, I need to go take photos of my iPad mini. It’s got Flappy Bird installed. I hear I could make a pretty penny.
And that's a damn shame
One has to wonder what it is about Bitcoin that Apple just seems to despise. While everyone’s “favorite” fruit company has never claimed an official stance or opinion on the widespread and ever growing virtual currency Bitcoin, the company has certainly done everything in its power to make their lineup of iOS devices as hostile against storing or trading Bitcoin as possible. The company has been banning applications that include even the smallest semblance of Bitcoin support for a long time now, and today the company has put the final nail in the coffin so to speak as it has removed what is arguably the last remaining big Bitcoin application – Blockchain.
Blockchain, maintained by Blockchain.info, was a Bitcoin wallet application that functioned exactly as you may think – as a way for customers to securely store and interact with their Bitcoins. Blockchain.info claims that Apple has notified them that the application, which was on the App Store for the last two years, had to be removed “due to an unresolved issue” – an issue that Apple has yet to make apparent.
Some argue that Apple’s stance against Bitcoin stems from a line in their Developer Guidelines, which states that developers can not include functionality that “enables, facilitates or encourages an activity” that is illegal in any country that the application is offered. However, as many are quick to point out, most nations – including the United States – do not hold the stance that Bitcoins are in any way illegal.