Cloud storage platform Stream Nation adds support for lending movies and TV shows

Image via Stream Nation

Image via Stream Nation

Media-focused cloud storage platform Stream Nation has been updated with additional functionality on iOS, and now allows users to lend movies and television shows to their friends and family. This update joins the app’s existing tools, which allow for the storage, streaming and sharing of video, photos and more via the cloud.

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Yahoo updates Screen app with live video, AirPlay implementation

Image via Yahoo

Image via Yahoo

Yahoo launched its Screen app in early September, introducing a free outlet for TV and video streaming on iOS devices. Now, the app has been updated with three major new features, including support for live video.

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Yahoo Screen brings TV and video streaming to iOS for free

Image via Yahoo

Image via Yahoo

Yahoo looks to change the way iOS users experience TV with the launch of the Yahoo Screen app on iPhone and iPad. Developed by the Stamped team, which Yahoo acquired in October 2012, the Yahoo Screen app allows users to browse and watch clips from TV shows, including Yahoo Originals, instantly, and for free.

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Instagram video a week later: Vine falling fast

vine-instagram-shares

According to MarketingLand using Topsy’s free analytics tool, Twitter users are sharing Vine videos less and less since Instagram introduced video to its app last Thursday. The amount of Vine shares on Twitter took a significant dip after the June 20th announcement and has not recovered since.

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Twitter launches Vine for Android, iOS version reaches 13M downloads

Vine app iconTwitter today announced the launch of Vine, it’s 6-second video sharing app, for Android. Twitter also revealed that Vine (review) has reached 13 million downloads on iOS just five months after the launch of the app.

Twitter says the feature set between the iOS and Android versions is different, but it plans to get the Android version up to par with the iOS soon. Although, the Android version does launch with a zoom functionality that’s not present in the iOS version. Upcoming features for Vine include front-facing camera functionality, search, mentions and hashtags, Facebook sharing, and general bug fixes and performance improvements.Onavo Insights Vine

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Disney Interactive launches storytelling app Story for iOS

Disney Story app iconDisney Interactive today launched Story for iOS, a storytelling app that accesses a user’s camera roll of photos and videos on their mobile device and automatically organizes their media into stories, which can be personalized, saved and shared.

Disney senior director of engineering Scott Gerlach told Inside Mobile Apps that “We realized that parents were collecting media on their phones at a rate even greater than the typical smartphone user. They were drowning in this sea of personal media and feeling pressure from their family and friends to share that.”

Gerlach, who works for Disney’s parent-oriented group called Women and Family, explains that although Story is geared toward moms and parents, the app is for everyone.Disney Story screenshot

Story is broken up into two sections — Moments and Stories. Moments are pieces of media from a user’s camera roll that is automatically pulled together based on a piece of media’s time stamp and location tag by Disney’s proprietary algorithm. The developers classified a moment as something that can’t span more than a calendar day, and no piece of media in a series collected within that time span can have a gap of more than a certain amount of time or distance. Once a moment is collected, a user can turn it into a story. Users can drag and drop media around, edit a title, add captions, and give their story a theme, which consists of fonts, colors, backgrounds and photo treatments. Gerlach says Disney will later allow users to add vocal annotations, music and other forms of media, to their stories. (more…)

WeChat launches TV commercial campaign, targets Singapore

WeChat app iconChina’s largest web company Tencent recently launched a TV commercial campaign for its messaging app WeChat which targets the Singaporen market.

The TV commercial features two Taiwanese celebrities — Alan Luo Zhi-Xiang and Raine Yang. The commercial, which can be seen here, shows the two stars demonstrating some functions of the app, including a voice recognition functionality and stickers, a special emoji. The same TV commercial was used in Taiwan. The TV spot will air on free-to-air channels including Channel 8, Channel U, W drama and E-City starting this week.

Louis Song, country manager of Tencent’s international business group for Malaysia and Singapore, said the Chinese web giant hopes to increase the app’s presence and market share in the country.

“Singapore is a very strong market like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand,” he says. “We are witnessing a sturdy growth in mobile application platforms.”

At the 2013 Boao Forum For Asia in early April, Tencent president Martin Lau revealed that WeChat now has more than 40 million overseas users. In total, WeChat last reported that its user base was more than 300 million. Compared to other messaging apps in the Asian markets, Line Corp.’s Line currently has 120 million users, up by 20 million since January, and South Korean KakaoTalk has 70 million users. In the U.S., messaging app giants like WhatsApp haven’t released user base figures, but its estimated to be as high as 300 million, and Kik Messenger has officially said it now has more than 50 million registered users.

As Kik Interactive CEO Ted Livingston recently told Inside Mobile Apps, “messaging is the killer app in mobile.” Adding that whoever wins messaging will win this era of computing. While the messaging market remains very fragmented, WeChat making a market play in Singapore is another sign of a company wanting to spread its reach and become a global player in messenging.

Piddas21 launches RemotePlay for iOS, allows cross-platform content streaming

Piddas21 logoPiddas21′s today launched RemotePlay on iOS, an app that allows users to instantly stream and share videos, photos, music or documents in real-time with other users.

“We’re very excited about launching RemotePlay on iOS as it allows us to truly demonstrate how disruptive peer-to-peer broadcasting of content across multiple platforms can be,” said Piddas21 founder and CEO Joe Lin, in a statement. “RemotePlay gives people a new way to share their favorite content and dramatically enhances the way they interact socially through technology.”

Piddas21, a subsidiary of the worldwide leader in notebook original design manufacturing Quanta Computer, released the Android version of RemotePlay in early March. Now with the launch of the iOS version of RemotePlay, iOS users can automatically import their music and videos from iTunes as well as share content from third-party apps like Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive and others (including email attachments), with other users who also have the RemotePlay app installed on either an iOS or Android device.Piddas21 RemotePlay iOS screenshot

The Taipei-headquartered mobile app company Piddas21 claims RemotePlay is the first mobile app that allows users to instantly stream content to another user who also has RemotePlay installed on their device. Users can instantly stream content to one person at a time or multiple people at once. The app doesn’t allow for users to select a certain group of people — it’s either one person or everyone. Each user who’s a recipient of the shared content can independently pause, replay and view the content as they please.

For additional information about the app’s user interface, how users share content or the technology behind the app, refer to our previous coverage for the Android launch of RemotePlay.

RemotePlay is available now on the Apple App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and on Google Play for Android smartphones and tablets. The app will release for Windows Phone 8 in the coming months.

Angry Birds Toons to be accessible within Angry Birds games, will begin airing March 16 to 17

Rovio logoMobile game developer Rovio today announced that Angry Birds Toons, an upcoming cartoon series based on the company’s popular game franchise, will be accessible within all Angry Birds mobile games.

After installing an update, any of the Angry Birds apps will be able to get access to a new channel button in each game’s home screen, which is where users can watch episodes of the show.

The cartoon series is scheduled to begin airing this upcoming weekend (March 16 for broadcast TV and March 17 for on-demand services) on a dedicated channel within Rovio’s game portfolio, and on Comcast’s U.S. video platforms like Xfinity on Demand, Xfinity.com.tv and in the Xfinity TV Player app on Samsung Smart TVs. Rovio plans to add support for Roku and other platforms in the future. In other parts of the world, the Angry Birds Toons will air on FOX8 in Australia, JEI TV in South Korea, ANTV in Indonesia, Cartoon Networking in India, MTV3 Juniori and MTV3 in Finland, the Children’s Channel in Israel, 1+1 networks in Ukraine, Gulli and Canal J in France, SUPER RTL in Germany, TV2 in Norway, Canal 13 in Chile and Gloob in Brazil. Rovio has also partnered with Activision, Paramount Pictures, BlackBerry and Sony Pictures for the launch of the Angry Birds Toons channel.

So far, Rovio has planned 52 episodes for the cartoon series, with a new episode scheduled to air every Sunday. Rovio hopes the cartoon show will help with increasing installs as well as its engagement and retention rates for its Angry Birds games.

Comics subscription service Marvel Unlimited releases for iOS

Marvel Unlimited app iconMarvel Entertainment today released Marvel Unlimited on the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad, a digital comics subscription program.

Marvel Unlimited already exists as a browser-based service, but now its coming to mobile devices, with access to 13,000 back issues as of today and syncs all downloaded comics across all devices. If a user is already paying for a subscription for the web-based version, they can use the same subscription for the mobile app. Marvel Unlimited’s subscription is priced at $10 a month or $60 a year, for a limited time.

Marvel Unlimited isn’t without limitations. At launch, users can only make available six issues for offline reading, according to Gizmodo. Also, the comics available for reading in Marvel Unlimited are at least six months old, from its original printing. Some major titles such as the entire Iron Man collection aren’t available for the service either. Technology-wise, the app is built in HTML5, and not in an native format such as Objective-C for iOS or Java for Android.

Marvel Unlimited will be competing with other comic reading apps available for both iOS and Android such as Comics by Comixology, DC Comics by DC Entertainment and Marvel’s own Marvel Comics.

Marvel Unlimited will be coming to Android soon.

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