5 apps for newbie bloggers



Any pictures I have posted thus far on this blog I’m pretty sure all of them are my own – I take them myself (I’m quite efficient like that) and then use certain apps to mess with the lighting/effects/writing – fancy fonts/weird shapes etc! Whether you are a newbie or an oldbee the few apps that I have found extremely helpful in my journey have been very kind to me. They make my poopey pictures look alright! Enough with the long-winded intro let’s get down to business…

1. Instagram: Unless you have been living under a rock you will know what this is, from the homeless to celebrities – everyone uses this. The easiest way to share and take pictures and look like you actually know what you are doing. Take a picture add a filter – feel like a pro (you gotta start somewhere ey?). This can be downloaded from the App store and…

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Square Updates Its Register iPad App With Kitchen Tickets, Ordering Features To Better Serve Restaurants


Square’s point-of-sale technology and iPad-powered register, Square Register is getting a big update today targeted at better serving restaurants. New features in the release include custom order modifiers and customizable kitchen tickets that allow restaurants to make taking orders and serving food more efficient.

Square Register is a point-of-sale system based on the iPad and not only allows merchants to accept payments, but includes the ability to customize permissions for employees on the register, access to sales reports, and the ability to wirelessly print receipts or open a cash drawer to make change. Analytics allow merchants to segment consumer payments data and transactions, and users can access data around number of payments, subtotals, tax, tips, refunds, account deposits, etc.

The focus of the new update to Square Register is helping optimize the experience at the counter beyond just the payment. Merchants can now customize orders with order modifiers, allowing cashiers…

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Chat apps have overtaken SMS by message volume, but how big a disaster is that for carriers?


There’s a reason why mobile carriers are scared of third-party messaging apps such as WhatsApp, and here it is: people are now sending more messages over these services than they are text messages.

We now know this for a fact, courtesy of analysts at Informa. As Europe’s digital chief, Neelie Kroes, greeted the news on Monday morning:

Informa says 2012 saw nearly 19 billion messages sent over these apps each day around the world, versus 17.6 billion SMS messages. The analyst house reckons the contrast will be even starker in 2014, with 21 billion text messages projected, against almost 50 billion app-based messages.

As you will note, this suggests that SMS volumes will continue to increase, at least in…

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Smartphones have long been an important distribution platform for music streaming service Spotify, and today it is taking that to the next level of mobility: today it is announcing a deal with Ford to provide in-car streaming music services, via Ford’s new SYNC AppLink service in Europe and North America. The deal will initially cover one car model, the EcoSport.

This is Spotify’s first in-car deal, but it’s not Ford’s: the company also works with Pandora in the U.S., a key competitive battleground between the two companies and others for consumers willing to pay and interested in listening to streaming music services compared to older media like CDs and radio, and downloads from iTunes.

It looks like Ford may be taking a more regional approach to their in-car services: it is also announcing Europe-only partnerships with Kaliki Audio Newsstand, the Glympse social location sharing app, and Aha audio entertainment channels…

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Russia’s Yandex has finally rolled out the alternative Android store that it was talking about last year, adding a major piece to its Google-rivaling suite of services for Android-based phones. The company now offers users search, maps, mail and apps, all without a Google(s goog) logo in sight.

“We are joining the game to contribute to competition that ensures freedom of choice for the end user and other members of the market,” Alexander Zverev, head of the Yandex.Store project, said in a statement.

Yandex is fast becoming a serious contender: its search dominance in Russia has helped it overtake Microsoft’s Bing on a global level (at least, measured by searches, rather than users) and it’s also becoming increasingly popular in the Ukraine and Turkey, where its Yandex.Store will soon open.

Yandex Store 2The store’s mostly free 50,000-plus apps include familiar fare such as Skype and Foursquare, but also local treats…

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Remember “mobile TV”, whatever that was? No we don’t either, but that’s not about to deter new startup Vinson which is launching their their new mobile OTT (Over The Top) TV app on iOS for broadcasters, content aggregators and content distributors at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Essentially this is watching live TV on a tablet, with the full TV guide, plus PVR/time-shifting, plus “social” features for shared watching experiences. They’ve basically crammed a vision of the future TV into an app, and it looks pretty good.

Focused on a “swiping” experience, the app is free to use by broadcasters without any license fees, plus they can request a free branded version of the Vinson app.

One of the first customers to use the platform is a joint venture of Belgium broadcasters that developed a mobile TV solution for the Belgium market, branded as the name “Stievie”.

CEO Vinson Michael…

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Snapchat has been on a roll lately, scooping up a $13.5 million funding round from Benchmark last week, toying around with monetization features, and becoming the world’s favorite misunderstood mobile app.

But today the train keeps on chugging, as Snapchat has released a beta build of its Android app that includes the ability to send self-destructing video messages along with the usual picture messages. But be forewarned, loyal Snapchatters, as the beta link expires at 2am PST.

To be perfectly clear, this is a pre-release beta build. Snapchat is still working out a few kinks before launching the official Android update, but a few lucky users will have the chance to hop on the beta tonight.

Snapchat launched its new video feature for iOS in December of last year.

Just in case you decided to take a year off from tech news consumption, Snapchat is one of the…

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