Remains of the Day: You know what's cool? Half a million
It’s a supersized edition of the remains of the day as we tackle the latest rumored developments in Apple’s deal with labels and publishers over a cloud music service, Google’s possible entry into the mobile payment field, and Apple’s latest patent haul. All rise for the remainders for Tuesday, May 24, 2011.
500,000 Apps (Chomp)
While Apple has yet to confirm the milestone, app-discovery service Chomp has already broken out the party hats to celebrate the 500,000th app in the App Store. It’s even brought a gift: a lengthy infographic on the store’s history and composition. That also happens to be a great blueprint for designing the perfect best-selling app, which according to my calculations should be a game that costs $3.64 and deals with moronic birds that ride motorcycles, fly planes, and shoot each other with skee balls.
Another day, another rumor on Apple coming to terms with record labels and publishers over a supposed cloud music service. The latest reports indicate that three of the four major labels have signed on; Universal appears to be the final hold-out. Meanwhile, Steve Jobs’s personal beta of the service—which involves paying Bob Dylan a retainer to stand in his living room and play whatever songs Steve wants to hear—is going swimmingly.
Photo-sharing service Instagram dished some interesting numbers at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference on Tuesday, saying that ten user photos are posted to the social network every second and that it has 4.25 million users after just seven months. And that’s only with a client available on the iPhone! Imagine if they put it on Android, too—they could totally get that number up to 4.26 million easy.
Speaking of Android, Bloomberg reports that Google is poised to launch a mobile-payment service this week, bringing near-field-communication chip (NFC) technology to Sprint’s Nexus S handset. Such technology will let people pay with their phone by just waving it over a cash register and then running away before store security can stop them.
Samsung Must Show Cell Phones to Apple (Courthouse News Service)
The battle between Samsung and Apple continues apace, with Judge Lucy Koh ruling that Samsung must produce five of its as-yet-unreleased Android-based phones and tablets as part of an expedited discovery process. Apple, however, won’t actually get a look at the devices themselves, but that’s not a big deal because they look just like the iPhone and iPad.
Apple Buys 200+ Patents from Freescale Semiconductor (Patently-O)
If you’re a Mac user who lived through the PowerPC era, you may recognize the name Freescale Semiconductor. Originally Motorola’s processor division, Freescale was spun off in 2003 to fend for itself. Now Apple’s received “an assignment of assignors interest” in more than 200 patents belonging to the chip-maker, almost all of which are said to be related to hardware for computers and wireless devices. To be fair, Apple hasn’t read through them—it just keeps the paper copies in a dump-truck that it can back up to a court room if necessary.
BusyTodo 1.5 - BusyMac's to-do app for iOS updates to version 1.5, bringing support for the iPad, the ability to filter to do items by date, priority, and calendar, and a number of language localizations. $10.
Byword 1.2 - Version 1.2 of Metaclassy's Mac text editor adds Markdown support for editing and previewing, the ability to export Markdown to HTML, a new interface design, and other improvements and fixes. $10.
Localscope 1.5 - The version 1.5 update to Cynapse's social location-based app now integrates with MotionX GPS Drive, Waze Social GPS, and MetroView Australia & New Zealand GPS apps. There are also four additional languages (German, French, Italian, and Spanish), improved Facebook sharing, and a handful of bug fixes. $2.
Opera Mini 6 - Opera has updated its iOS browser to version 6, bringing support for the iPad, a new interface, smoother pinch-to-zoom, support for the iPhone 4's Retina display, enhanced sharing capabilities, the ability to open a new page in a background tab, and better support for international fonts. Free.
MailShot 1.41 - The group e-mail utility for iOS returns to the App Store, fixing a bug introduced in 1.40 and features support for importing existing address book groups, detection of potentially obsolete e-mail addresses, and the removal of the 50-contact-per-group limit in the upgraded version. Free.
Quickoffice 4.0.1 - Support for advanced editing of PowerPoint documents headlines the release of the office solutions app's 4.0.1 update. Users can now tweak fonts, colors, size, styles, and more, as well as adding, removing, and rearranging slides. There's also a fix for an installation issue and more. $5 for standard version; $10 for Pro version.