South Korea Forces Apple and Google to change app store refund policy

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For South Koreans, getting refunds from Apple and Google for less-than-stellar apps just got a lot easier. The new law comes from the Korea Fair Trade Commission, which is stepping in to revise app store policies from Apple and Google.

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Smart Picture: an app that turns phone photos into measurements

smart pictureSmartphones are getting smarter thanks to 3D technology from Google’s Project Tango. Smart Picture, the latest app using the platform, can create dimensions of any object in a room based on Google’s smartphone photos. The app literally transforms images into 3D data points. (more…)

‘Elders React on Google Glass’ is timeless, hilarious

elders react to google glass

Google Glass is equally beloved and hated by tech at heart Millenials, but what about elders? Imagine finding yourself with Google Glass for the very first time. You might ask yourself, what is this thing, how do I put it on, how do I turn it on, and a mulitude of other useful questions.

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Google’s Ingress to exit beta December 14

Ingress

Image via Google

Google’s Niantic Labs announced a series of fresh developments today surrounding their geo-location augmented reality game, Ingress, including the news that the game will not only exit beta on December 14, but that Google has officially dropped the invitation code requirement, making the game available now to all Android users. (more…)

Google’s Ingress turns cities into virtual scavenger hunts

Image via Google

Image via Google

They Live meets scavenger hunt.

That’s the best way I can describe Google’s augmented reality game, Ingress, an app that will have you running around your city in search of energy portals that could mean the difference between human enlightenment and the human race becoming slaves to some mysterious new force in the universe. (more…)

Google Play will now offer digital textbooks for purchase or rent

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In Google’s recent Android and Chrome event in San Francisco, Google announced the upcoming launch of a textbook portion to the Google Play store. This update will allow college students to purchase or rent digital versions of textbooks for up to 80 percent off their normally high retail prices. This move is obviously a positive one, as textbooks are easily one of the most expensive parts of a student’s education (aside from tuition itself).

This announcement follows Google’s reveal of Google Play for Education in May, which will work to bring Chrome and Android apps to schools.

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Safari declines in mobile browser usage, others gain traction

browser-share-mobile_610x347 With over 60 percent of usage, Safari is the most widely used mobile web browser application by a longshot. However, a report from CNET shows that Apple browser may be losing a bit of steam. The browser dipped from 60 percent usage to 58 percent from May to June. (more…)

Digg Is After Google Reader’s Power Users

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Photo via Flickr / biggraham

When Google announced that Google Reader was shutting down on July 1 , there was a race to find a suitable replacement. While a number of alternatives have popped up the latest to vie for the crown is Digg. (more…)

Google closes on deal for Waze

Waze logoGoogle has acquired crowd-sourced mapping application, Waze, as announced from the company’s official blog.

It was long rumored that both Facebook and Apple have shown interest in acquiring the Israel based startup, but have been beat out by Google. While acquisition price is still up in the air, it has been speculated at 1 billion to 1.3 billion dollars.

The Waze product development team will still operate separately in Israel for the time being and plans on using each mapping application complementary to each other. Google also plans on focusing on the Waze community who is seen as the “DNA of [the] app”.

“The Waze community and its dedicated team have created a great source of timely road corrections and updates,” said Google’s Brian McClendon, Vice President of Geo, in a statement. “We welcome them to Google and look forward to working with them in our ongoing effort to make a comprehensive, accurate and useful map of the world.”

According to AppData, Waze is currently the #2 of top free navigation app for iOS. With Google Maps” at number one of top free navigation apps, Google has taken a significant stronghold of the navigation app landscape.

Inside Social Apps profile: DeNA’s Doug Scott

Doug Scott headshotEditor’s Note: Doug Scott is vice president of marketing and revenue at Japanese mobile-social gaming company DeNA. For a taste of what will be discussed at the “Platform Opportunities for Social Apps” session at Inside Network’s Inside Social Apps conference June 6 to 7, Doug answered a couple questions regarding the prospects of current mobile app platforms.

Inside Mobile Apps: Now that Google I/O just concluded, where do you see the Android platform for mobile development in the future?

Doug Scott: We have found Android to be a great development platform for several years now but the announcements at Google I/O take it to another level. By focusing on features to enhance gameplay and support game developers further, I look at this as a watershed moment for mobile gaming. This will certainly encourage more game developers to embrace Android and will allow developers of platforms such as Mobage to focus on even deeper, richer tools and communities for developers on top of these features. It is a testament to the power of gaming as the most engaging activity on these platforms.

IMA: Is there a difference between the iOS and Android platforms in terms of monetization for DeNA?

Scott: There can be differences between the platforms depending on the product but we have found that it’s possible to monetize extremely well on both Android and iOS. Without question, great businesses can be built on both platforms.

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