Fun (and frightening) apps to celebrate Halloween

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Android App Store, MoboMarket Launches New Version.

“There aren’t enough hours in the day” is the common refrain of the overworked worker. It’s nearly Halloween, the time of year when we get to cover everything with fake cobwebs, pumpkins and witch- or zombie-theme designs — as well as celebrate the holiday with apps on our phones.Quixey, a mobile technology company, today introduced a cutting-edge Android launcher designed to put Indian users, who have come to expect more intelligence out of their phones, in control of their mobile experience.Last month, the newest version of Apple’s operating system, iOS 9, began allowing users to install ad blockers, software that would block advertisements from appearing in any web view on a phone.All-in-one Android market and Android Manager App, MoboMarket today announced the launch of a new version, offering millions of Android users a wide variety of new content and many more features.

Launch by Quixey completely reimagines the home screen, style and functionality of Android devices to deliver on Quixey’s mission of connecting people to apps and apps to people. While Android is an incredibly powerful mobile system, users today are looking for more efficient devices with a better way to quickly and easily get things done, and the ability to customize and personalize their experience. The new version of MoboMarket comes with a wide array of apps – from segments like Business, Education, Finance to Entertainment, Health & Fitness and even Cooking. Its intelligent shortcuts use machine learning to uncover and deliver the right app functions to users from inside both apps on the phone and across the app ecosystem. Ad blockers, they said, will force publishers to abandon enormous, memory-hogging ads on their web pages, which tax processing power and battery capacity on smartphones.

It’s a three-dimensional graphical adventure game where you play Manny Calavera, a travel agent for lost souls whose life is suddenly complicated by love. People: suggests contacts to call, text, message or email based on usage patterns at certain times of the day and serves as a single location for management of these communications. Many pointed to news sites like The Verge—which as of this summer devoted 1.4 megabytes of a page to article text and 8.5 megabytes to tracking scripts and ads—as proof that the online-advertising industry had become complacent, gluttonous, and user-hostile.

Search: quickly finds exactly what you want on your phone, including apps, contacts, messages, settings and more, while at the same time providing the most comprehensive deep search for apps and functionalities not necessarily downloaded. Even when the developer Marco Arment pulled his top-selling ad blocker from the App Store, saying that running it “just doesn’t feel good,” he still defended the technology. “I still believe that ad blockers are necessary today,” he said. “Ad-blocking is a kind of war—a first-world, low-stakes, both-sides-are-fortunate-to-have-this-kind-of-problem war, but a war nonetheless, with damage hitting both sides.” Then discussions of ad blockers faded for a while. You can share your “gorror-story” on your own social media or join the uprising by posting to a public gallery, where you can watch the outbreak unfold in real time. Cards: presents a stream of local and relative content for a specific user from across all the top apps—even if they are not downloaded on the device. “It’s not the interface of a phone that drives user experience, but the intelligence of the software behind it,” said Tomer Kagan, CEO and co-founder of Quixey. “Users will find that Launch allows them to tap into all the power of software on their device rather than manually going from app to app.

It also integrates with Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo calendars, and generates reports so that the status of all projects can be seen at a glance. It’s a reimagined Android home experience that combines machine learning and the mobile technology we’ve been developing for years, and it delivers on our vision of breaking down the barriers of apps.” “Nearly 60 percent of the population in India is under the age of 30 and app usage has grown by at least 131 percent, outpacing the global growth rate. Many stakeholders—myself included—settled in for a long, sad war of attrition, in which cutthroat digital economics laundered the loss of the smaller publishers who would bear the brunt of ad blocking’s harm. Apart from a whole host of new features, we have also created a user forum – aimed at creating our unique community, allowing fans to exchange thoughts on favourite games and get cool suggestions on latest apps.” A new feature, Top List, suggests a list of popular Apps & Games on a daily basis, based on users’ location, served in the native language.

It’s one of the most mobile-savvy countries, with many consumers looking for alternatives to the disjointed app experience much of the world has grown to accept—downloading, clicking and using separate apps for every task,” said Guru Gowrappan, Chief Operating Officer of Quixey. “Expanding our team and offices in Bangalore and building a product in India for India was only a natural step for us to reach the mobile-savvy and early adopter audience. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the professional organization which sets standards for the digital advertising industry globally (and dictates the dimensions of, e.g., the infamous banner ad), seems to have declared defeat, admitting that its guidelines for ads aren’t working. The fast, scalable systems of targeting users with ever-heftier advertisements have slowed down the public Internet and drained more than a few batteries.

MoboMarket also helps users improve their Android use experience by providing convenient contact backup, App backup, cross-platform contact transfer and many other useful Android tools. It’s not that easy to figure out at first—it takes a bit of time to find the “open from gallery” option in the toolbar—but the results are worth it. The IAB’s answer to these woes is “L.E.A.N.”: a “light,” “encrypted,” and “non-invasive” set of standards to guide ad development on the mobile web.

You fire up the app, let it scan your features for a moment and then watch as your face is transformed into a zombie mask that moves as you do — with colored eyeballs, gory wounds and pallid skin that stretches and changes as you turn or open your mouth. These won’t replace the company’s digital-ad standards for now, which many people “still enjoy and engage with,” writes Cunningham, but they will provide an alternative that doesn’t “steamroll” users or their devices in the same way. You can adjust the effects that appear on your face to personalize your zombie look, and even choose to be made over as a human survivor in faux zombie make up. These less-demanding ads could in turn lessen the demand for ad blocking, which he calls “a threat to the Internet [that] could potentially drive users to an enclosed-platform world dominated by a few companies.” In that last clause, to be clear, he is writing in a veiled way about Facebook, an “enclosed platform” that is thought to have a lock on advertising’s future.

The effects are startling, and you can snap a photo of your zombie face or record a short video that can be shared on Instagram or other social media. Facebook is investing in making mobile browsing faster for users, and it’s almost alone among companies in figuring out how to make billions in revenue from mobile ads. If you use a little imagination in your poses, you can make it look like the “ghost you” is is stepping, creeping, or rising out of the “normal you.” Free on iOS. Cunningham notes that the IAB will alter its general industry standards so that ads appear “before, but never AFTER” someone makes a purchase (emphasis his). A few similar apps have also materialized on Android, including Ghost Photo Maker, which produces merged spirit photos similar to the ones you’ll get from Ghost Lens.

For a similar app that is slightly lower tech and adds static special effects to a traditional selfie, try the Walking Dead: Dead Yourself app, on both iOS and Android. To up the ante with scary sounds, take a look at the Free Halloween Sounds Pro app, which adds a sneaky little trick to the same-ole press-n-play soundboard.

Its Timer Trickeration mode let’s you choose from a selection of sounds, such as a blood-curdling scream or haunting hiss, set a silent timer, then hide your phone to scare the pants of a trick-or-treater (or your own mom). The only way these problems will be solved, however, is if the IAB successfully spurs collective action: A recent study estimated that the shift to a user-tracking model of online advertising—which has flourished only in the past decade, and occasioned a centralizing, insecure, and destabilizing shift in online infrastructure—only produced a 29-percent greater return on advertising budgets. Users have their pick of numerous collaboration tools ranging from Google Docs to Slack, but newcomer Pingpad is aiming to do something different by becoming a sort of miniature social network. It’s all in good fun, but following a signal through your house while watching the screen, and then seeing a ghost emerge from your refrigerator door is actually sort of spooky. The couple found they had to use multiple apps and services to do so, so they decided to combine them all into one, easy-to-use option and make it available on smartphones.

The Reporter app for the iPhone seeks to create this sort of personal information database by asking users to self-report on their own activities, habits and moods. The $4.59 app quizzes its user several times during the day at random intervals, asking questions such as, “Who are you with?” and “Are you working?” The information is combined with data pulled from the iPhone’s step tracker, microphone, GPS and other functions to build a database. As with all Big Data, there’s some creepiness to it, but Reporter can also prove invaluable to conscientious self-trackers, who can use the information to identify and alter subconscious patterns. When it comes to safety, your little pirate or princess may finally be old enough to head out alone, but that doesn’t mean you have to go cold-turkey on your hovering ways.

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