What App Services In Your Subscription?

I guess this then comes to the next elephant in the room – apps that are embracing the subscription model.

It seems that we have fewer qualms about paying a monthly fee for an app which grants us a regular, ongoing service, such as music or video streaming. The utility is quite clear – I launch the app, and there’s always something new or different ready for me to consume. The music library I can access today via Apple Music is clearly much wider than what it was a year ago, and it will only continue to grow.

What then about software? What we don’t see is the developer working tirelessly behind the scenes (or so I presume) to iron out bugs and implement new features. Work which doesn’t exactly generate any new income, and which could have been used to create a brand new, paying app instead. It also begs the question of how long I am supposedly entitled to “free” bug fixes after I have purchased the app. Is it really fair to demand that a $20 app such as Ulysses or Things continue to be supported 3 years from today? Do I really expect a $1 app to be supported for many years to come?

I am quite mixed when it comes to what appears to be the increasingly new normal. I get the argument that developers need to eat, but the reality is that I am simply not a power user for many of the apps that I download. I simply don’t find myself using services like Textexpander or Bear to the extent that I consider the monthly fee worth it. Evernote sat in my phone for a full six months after it was installed before I finally got round to making it work for me, and there was no pressure because I was on the free tier. My use of text expander is quite sporadic. Certain months, I use it more (when my work demands it), and certain months, not at all. But I still value the service enough that I continue to pay for it (for now) because the alternative (going without it) is worse!

With paid apps, there is no pressure. I have purchased it, it’s mine forever, and I am in no rush to use it. But with subscription apps, there is this nagging feeling at the back of my head that if I am not milking the app for all it is worth, I am somehow not getting my money’s worth, because I am paying a regular fee for it.

What I like about iOS is that I can have a dozen different apps on my iPhone or iPad that do similar stuff, and I can pick and choose depending on my preference. It seems that the move towards subscription-based apps will ultimately cause me to have to settle on a small selection of core apps that matter the most to me, and I will have to give up on the rest, because I simply can’t pay for them.

Is this what the future of apps holds? Each developer catering to a niche group of users with an app customised to their needs and milking them for posterity? – @abazigal

Facebook Latest APK Version is Now Available for Download

Since the founding of Facebook in 2004, it has become the most popular social networking and online social media service. With more than two billion active monthly users to date and being a free site, uploading videos, communicating with friends and family as well as online gaming have become easier and more extensive.

To improve its services and performance, the team behind this social networking site continues to update Facebook on all platforms. The current version depends on the device and for the APK version, it is 135.0.0.22.90 released this week and with a download size of 81.8 MB.

While no new features were added, the company regularly releases updates, with the recent one focusing on improvements on speed and reliability. Some users comment that the file size needs to be reduced, though.

Facebook Features

If you are still one of the few people who have not tried this popular app, here are the features you have been missing:

  • Photo and video sharing as well as memories
  • Photo album creation you can share or keep in private
  • Facebook emoticons and publishing posts and status updates
  • Commenting on your friends’ posts
  • Playing games with your friends online
  • Following your favorite websites, artists and companies
  • Building brand image via social media

Downloading Facebook on Android

If you want to enjoy this app on your Android device, it is possible via Google Play Store, under the Social category. You can also type in “Facebook” on the search bar. However, not all Android devices can download and install this app. Your device should support 15 api and above. After downloading the app on your device, move the apk file to the SD card of your Android and the file manager you want to have it installed. The APK version can also be downloaded and run using android emulators like bluestacks and koplayer.

Please note that installation of the app will also be requiring app permissions, such as, reading your contacts’ data, accessing your approximate and precise location, among others.

The Pitfalls of Traffic Apps – Google Maps Shortcuts

For most of the casual or even professional drivers out there, traffic apps have become a must. Getting updates on potential traffic jams, as well as suggestions for shortcuts in order to avoid these is such a necessity in today’s car-filled cities that even old school apps like Google Maps started including such features. But did you ever stop to think about how these suggested shortcuts might potentially turn into a driver’s worst nightmare? Keep reading to find out more about the dark side of traffic apps.

When Apps Indicate the Same Shortcut

So, we all know there are the standard routes, and then there are those alternative ones that you were once able to discover only when you knew your city streets inside out. You don’t need a traffic app to tell you that, but you do need one to point you to the nearest shortcut. You no longer have to learn streets and routes yourself, which is a major advantage. But sometimes it can also be the biggest disadvantage in the world.

Imagine how the main roads on your route are the most intensely circulated ones. That’s a fact. So your navigation app suggests that you take this alternative route as well that goes through a random neighborhood because quiet housing areas are less likely to be crowded than intensely circulated boulevards. That’s all fine and well, but if your app says that to you, it most likely indicates the same route to all its other thousands of users in your city.

Thus, the traffic jam moves someplace else. And while for you it might be just a minor inconvenience, think of all the people that live there. Not only is their nice neighborhood suddenly flooded with cars, noise and smog, but now they can’t even pull out of their driveway to go buy groceries. So think about that next time you take an alternate route.

Is In-App YouTube Support Coming to WhatsApp?

The chat you’re having on WhatsApp is going great. You are both on a roll talking about favorite music, films, and television series. Suddenly, the person on the other line asks you if you’ve ever seen a particular TV series. It turns out you haven’t. Being the generous being that they are, they send over a YouTube link featuring the trailer for that said series.

Of course, you’re going to open it because the person on the other end asked if you liked the look of it. In other words, they are asking if it is something you like the look of. Now, the current state of WhatsApp dictates that you can’t open this video and have a chat at the same time. So what you do is tell the person you’re chatting with to wait for whatever the duration of the trailer is for your reaction.

Wouldn’t it just be great if you can just play that video without leaving WhatsApp?

Well, according to WABetaInfo, this feature is coming to WhatsApp users – just those who have iOS devices though, for now.

With this update, YouTube videos are put on top of your current conversation. Basically, the picture-in-picture concept is put into use here. Although the video will appear small, it can be expanded by pinching. You can even drag around the video on the screen so you can get better views of your messages. In case the size is still too small for you, there’s an option to view it in full mode as well.

Is this an update for all devices that support WhatsApp?

As mentioned earlier, this update is for users of iOS devices, but very specific iOS devices. WABetaInfo states that this feature will be rolled out to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S+, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus. It’s not hard to see why those devices have been chosen: they have quite big screens, something that benefits these kinds of updates.

WABetaInfo further states that the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, and iPhone 5S might get support but nothing is really clear on that. In fact, there isn’t clear evidence on whether or not the first couple of devices mentioned would be supported at all. The feature is still under development and many changes can happen by the time it is fully rolled out.

Why is there no mention of Android?

As two of the biggest mobile platforms on the planet, you would have expected Android to at least be included in the rumors. However, even WABetaInfo states that there is no news about bringing this feature to Android or even to Windows Phone.

Then again, Android runs in a majority of smartphones around the world. WhatsApp is one of the biggest communication tools ever built. There are equally large Android devices. So it wouldn’t make sense for it not to be included. We just have to wait and see.

WhatsApp works to satisfy the demands of their users, and adding in-app YouTube support is one step. While it’s a useful and important messaging app, it can do much more than that.