Apple and IBM release 10 new apps, incorporating analytics and iBeacons

22 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

20 best new Android apps and games this week.

Apple and IBM’s enterprise partnership has yielded 10 new apps, including one that targets business travellers and others that make use of predictive analytics and iBeacons. Shopify has been steadily improving its iPad-based point-of-sale solution since its launch a couple of years prior, in order to better compete with rivals like Revel, Square, ShopKeep, Vend and many others. Today, the company is expanding the capabilities of its iOS point-of-sale system with the launch of nearly a half-dozen apps for the platform, allowing merchants to add custom features to their point-of-sale solutions without having to upgrade to a more expensive POS platform.

Chen brought us yet another. (The “X” is for “I’m not the New York Times technology reporter who said the Apple Watch would give you wrist cancer, that was the other one.”) In the months surrounding the much-ballyhooed release of the Apple Watch, Apple managers courted Facebook in the hopes that the social networking giant would make a software application for the new gadget. “I don’t know if we could get it all in there in a way that feels good and works well,” [Adam Mosseri, who oversees Facebook’s news feed,] said in a recent interview. “You’d just want to get your phone out at that point.” That puts the watch, Apple’s first new product since the iPad in 2010, in something of a Catch-22: The companies whose apps would most likely prompt more people to buy the device are waiting to see who is buying it and how they use it. The apps are available now via Shopify’s existing App Store, and include those that will help merchants run promotions, upsell to customers, turn their Wi-Fi into a marketing tool, offer wholesale discounts to select customers, plus print invoices, labels, receipts and more.

You can read the previous Best iPhone and iPad Apps roundups for more recommendations, but if Android is your platform of choice, check the Best Android Apps roundups. Thought leaders from the biggest brands and most disruptive companies will share winning growth strategies on the most pressing challenges marketing leaders face today.] Merchant retail platform Shopify announced today that it has launched an app store for its Point of Sale offering. The current lineup available today includes loyalty card app Appcard, Ultimate Sales Manager, Turnstyle (the Wi-Fi app), Supple Wholesale and Order Printer. Fresh out of beta, this is Microsoft’s app for turning your videos into time-lapsed films, speeding up the action up to 32 times faster than the original footage. There are four in a new category called “employee experience.” The Travel Plan iPhone app helps workers plan business travel by reviewing their calendar and identifying possible trips.

With this app store, Shopify aims to give brick-and-mortar companies all the power and flexibility afforded to large businesses, but without the expense. People are literally chafing at their watch straps to watch YouTube and Netflix videos, play Solitaire and somehow magically use Find My iPhone without an Internet connection on their Apple Watches! This slick photo-editing app has been a hit on iPhone, but now it has been released for iPad too – arguably the better device for longer bouts of pic manipulation. For instance, apps that affect checkout flow will be available by clicking a button (the one with three dots) at the top right of the screen, while other apps are able to be accessed after the guest checks out.

One of the top 20 free apps, Instagram, is owned by the aforementioned highly watch-skeptical Facebook, a fact that Chen gets around to mentioning in paragraph 21. This is a standalone app from travel site, responding to competition from the likes of HotelTonight in the ‘I need somewhere to kip at short notice’ market. The introduction of POS apps is notable because it allows merchants to customize their POS experience in a much more affordable way than was previously possible, and because it can help brick-and-mortar merchants tap into Shopify’s online offerings.

Well, the twist here is that Mapstr helps you make your own map, tagging the places you visit most (or want to visit) to create something more personalised. Meanwhile, for developers, the launch is meaningful because it introduces a new platform to build for – and there are shops out there that solely work on building Shopify apps. If your Facebook feed is full of friends and relatives lip-syncing film clips and music choruses using the Dubsmash app, be aware: soon you may be seeing clips too. Shopify says that it’s still looking for apps to share with its merchant customers, so if a developer is interested, they should get in touch with the company. It has nothing to do with trying to figure out a new form factor or the fact that developers have to wait the fall release of watchOS 2.0 to ship native apps.

That means a series of mini-games testing your focus, visual-spatial awareness, decision-making, memory and processing speed, with sporty themes and social features. Being based in the UK, I haven’t been able to try this app, but it’s been keenly-awaited in the US – the standalone streaming service from cable network HBO. This is actually for people who want to learn business-English through a mixture of daily WSJ articles, and comprehension, grammar and vocabulary exercises. In doing so, third-party apps will be able to leverage four specific functions: the Shopify dashboard, showing analytics, settings, and more; Edit Cart Action, which will enable users to manage their shopping cart; Add to Cart Action, which lets apps create custom products that are bundled, customized, or discounted; and Order Complete Action, to handle completed orders after payment. Thoughtless, rampant software development may be the hallmark of a quickly growing platform, but it’s still not necessarily something to aspire to.

It’s an app that pulls your Instagram feed onto your Android device’s lock screen, including a feature to set which mates you do and don’t want to see. It’s a mobile panic-button which calls and texts your pre-set emergency contacts when triggered, as well as broadcasting your location and live video and audio.

Asset Inspect, an iPhone app, uses predictive analytics to suggest why a piece of industrial equipment, like a transformer, isn’t working and offer repair advice. Red Bull has a new one that promises to “wake you with inspiring photos and alarm sounds”, although it’ll also track how long it takes you to turn off the alarm and encourage you to do better, like some kind of motivational snooze-o-phobic. This could be useful if you often find yourself travelling to countries you haven’t visited before: an app promising to fill you in on “essential local customs” including how to eat, what to wear and meeting people. Finally, an Android app for storing details of your loyalty cards, so you can quickly check how many points you’ve racked up and whether you’re eligible for a reward.

This game has picked up rave reviews on other platforms, and deservedly so: it’s a gripping adventure as you try to help your group survive in a war-torn city, avoiding snipers and foraging for supplies. An inspector can use the iPad’s camera and microphone to document inspections, and the app recommends actions based on data from previous inspections.

One customer is the Japanese government, which is providing iPads outfitted with customized apps to the country’s elderly population to help them manage their health. The latest game for Warhammer 40k fans looks like it could be the best yet: a turn-based strategy game that sees your troop of Space Marines battling it out with vicious Tyranids. As a youth I was more of a Blood Bowl fan than Warhammer 40,000, but the latter series has a large fanbase to this day, when it’s being reinvented digitally. Now it’s returning with a sequel that includes new ways to test your song-ID skills against friends – including a massively-multiplayer party mode.

Everyone’s favourite serial killer Dexter has made his way onto iOS with a game that puts you in the titular role, solving crimes while “planning out your own secret agenda” – which is a tactful way of putting it. Here, you control a goat leaping up a mountain while avoiding hazards, and collecting “goat hats” (goat hats are a thing?) that can change the environment. It’s a colourful battling game that’s only been available in Japan until now: you build teams of fighters and send them off to scrap, with a boardgame feel wrapped around the action. It’s a reassuringly old-school roleplaying game involving “command” based battles, diligent character-upgrading, and a story with plenty of twists. Barcode Knight isn’t quite it, but it’s interesting: you go dungeoneering with more than 60 monsters created with scans of your fish fingers / cider multi-packs / Cillit Bang packaging (delete as appropriate).

From arrows and bullets to shuriken, your job is to make them fly through the air and hit targets, with lush graphics. “No goats,” promises the Google Play listing for this diverting action game.

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