StumbleUpon Gets A Redesign In Version 4.0 For Android

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 12.27.45 PM StumbleUpon released version 4.0 of StumbleUpon for Android today, bringing a complete user interface overhaul, including navigation changes and a new way for users to find content. The design fits Google’s Android app design guidelines, with pages you can slide in from the left and right and a flat look that is has hints of Android L’s Material design. The drawer slide menu gets… Read More

NPR One Delivers A Curated Public Radio Stream For The Smartphone Era

npr-one Radio is an increasingly perplexing mode of content delivery as we gain access to more and better streaming services with on-demand programming. But the serendipity of radio is still appealing, the ability to turn on and tune in without having to monitor, tweak and pester. That’s why it’s great that NPR is looking to deliver its public programming in a way that combines the benefits… Read More

Vaavud Takes To Kickstarter Again For A New Smartphone Wind Meter That Tracks Direction

vaavud-2 Kickstarter has been around long enough that the Kickstarter double-dip is now a well-established thing – basically it’s the practice of a company returning to the crowdfunding well to secure the resources for a new product launch. The original Vaavud was a wind meter that required no power and plugged into your smartphone’s 3.5mm stereo input jack, but that actually… Read More

Apple Brings Better Discussion, iPad Course Creation To iTunes U

screen960x960 Apple has updated iTunes U with a bunch of new features, cranking the version number up to 2 and introducing improved discussion features and the ability to create and update courses directly from the iPad app, which previously has been mostly a user-facing client for consuming content.
The update, live now in the App Store, gives the universal app new powers for students, letting them ask… Read More

Pebble Teams Up With Misfit For Standalone Activity Tracking App

hero_pebblesteel_misfit_2 Smartwatch maker Pebble aims to be a lot of things to a lot of people, and today it’s deepening its appeal thanks to a new partnership. The hardware startup is teaming with another young gadget company: Misfit, maker of the smart activity and sleep tracking wristband Shine. Misfit has created a Pebble app for the smartwatch that can track a user’s activity – independent of… Read More

Google Releases Helpouts App For iOS

Google Helpouts Google introduced Helpouts last year to HELP PEOPLE OUT (yeah that’s where they got the name). The system works through Hangouts, letting people connect with experts for paid or free video chats that are about solving a specific problem, rather than just shooting the breeze with pals as we all do on Hangouts all the time. Now Helpouts is available on iOS thanks to a new app. Helpouts for… Read More

Fitbit Partnership With HTC Gives It A Leg Up In The Fitness Tracking Space

Smartphone manufacturers are increasingly focusing on health and fitness as part of their platform offerings, but HTC didn’t build its own homegrown health tracking solution with the new HTC One (M8). Instead, it partnered with category leader and successful startup Fitbit, the SF-based company that builds wearable trackers like the Fitbit Force and Flex, preloading their software on all new… Read More

Purr Pebble Smartwatch App Vibrates Your Life Away In 5 Minute Chunks

purr-pebble-appYesterday, a new faceless “watch” called Durr that simply vibrates every five minutes got a big feature over at Verge. It’s an interesting concept, and in his article Aaron Souppouris compared the experience to that of wearing a Pebble. That inspired a Pebble developer to try to accomplish the same thing, albeit without the need for a brand new device, and the result is Purr, an app for the upcoming Pebble OS 2.0. The Purr app mimics the Durr’s functionality exactly, vibrating the Pebble on your wrist every five minutes, and presenting nothing on the display at all. It simply deactivates the Pebble’s screen, rather than presenting any kind of watch face or any other information. The idea behind both the Purr app and the Durr watch are the same: To remind you every few minutes that time is passing, and possibly to inspire you to enjoy time more by noting that fact. There are some key differences between both approaches, however: The Durr lacks any screen whatsoever, meaning you won’t be tempted to check your other apps or watchfaces. Plus, notifications from your phone still make it through when you’re using Purr on the Pebble, which is either an advantage or a downside depending on how committed you are to the philosophy behind the design of the Durr. Also, as Purr is in beta and running on pre-release Pebble OS 2.0 software, it currently exhibits some odd behavior; specifically, vibrations repeat a number when each five-minute period is up, and the pattern or sequence doesn’t seem to follow any rhyme or reason. These are issues that Purr developer James Brooks says he’s working on resolving, however. A watch that’s literally constantly reminding you of time slipping through your grip, and by extension your own mortality, is a little bit of an outlier need from a gadget. But it’s a perfect early example of how Pebble’s new SDK 2.0 can unlock a lot of potential for developers. We’ve only just begun to see the value of a smartwatch as a platform, but the overall flexibility is beginning to show.