Samsung seeking apps that are ‘more than just Android’

How does Samsung plan to keep its hold on the insanely competitive market for Android devices? One obvious way will be through using its enormous marketing budget but the company is also investing in other differentiators that don’t involve ads about Santa Claus sexting with his wife. The Wall Street Journal has done an in-depth preview of Samsung’s big developer conference that kicks off in San Francisco this week and has found that the company is encouraging developers to make apps that are “more than just Android” as it seeks to create a hefty suite of Samsung-centric software that rival Android manufacturers won’t be able to top.

Although the Journal says Samsung executives admit “privately” that building a separate Samsung app ecosystem will be a tall order, the company has already had success in getting Twitter to develop a Samsung-exclusive app designed to take advantage of the company’s stylus-equipped devices such as the Galaxy Note. The Journal also says that Samsung has come to an agreement with Dropbox that “gives customers of Samsung’s high-end smartphones an extra dollop of storage space on the popular cloud-based service, which is integrated into Samsung’s interface.”

The trouble, though, is that Samsung will essentially be trying to pull the same trick that Microsoft and BlackBerry have been trying to pull in getting developers interested in investing money making apps for platforms other than iOS and Android. Microsoft has had some success in using large piles of cash to grease developers’ palms and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Samsung take a similar approach. Even so, dishing out cash to get today’s hottest apps is no guarantee that you’ll get tomorrow’s hottest apps, so it looks like Samsung has a lot of work to do.

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Here’s an Android app that will meet our always-growing app needs [Video]

One challenge for smartphone users is simply managing all the different apps we have — our main home screen is precious real estate where we store our 16 or so most-used apps but eventually that just isn’t good enough to meet our always-growing app needs. That’s where Cover comes is. Cover is an Android-based lock screen replacement that puts different apps on your lock screen depending on your location and the time of day. So when you’re at your office, for instance, Cover will put all of your most-used productivity apps right on your lock screen where you can access them instantly. Similarly, the software will pull up navigation apps when you’re in your car, games and entertainment when you’re at home on your couch, and so forth.

The app isn’t yet available on Google Play, although you can add your name to a waiting list by signing up on Cover’s website. A quick video demonstration of Cover, which was designed by former Google employees who are also Android enthusiasts, follows below.

Here’s how to start using BBM without waiting anymore using a simple bypassing trick

BlackBerry’s BBM for Android and BBM for iPhone apps are finally here! Well, sort of. BlackBerry finally released the highly anticipated messaging apps on Monday, bringing an end to the painful saga that was the buildup leading to BBM’s cross-platform debut. But as one wait came to an end, another began. Despite the delays, BlackBerry apparently couldn’t find a way to ready its servers for the rush of BBM activations it correctly anticipated would occur following the new app’s launch on Android and iOS. As such, the company created a queue system for BBM where users download the app, register their emails and then wait in line for their accounts to be activated.

BlackBerry appears to be doing a pretty good job of tearing through those activations, but if you happen to be one of the people still waiting to use BBM, there’s an easy workaround that lets you begin using the service right away. CNET has the details, but it’s essentially as easy as entering your email address, force-closing the app and then relaunching it. Then, you should be able to create an account and start using the service immediately.

Here’s how to do this finally:

To ensure that its servers can handle the influx of new users, BlackBerry has created a wait list for those interested in signing up for a BBM account. Individuals who registered on BlackBerry’s Web site earlier this month won’t be required to wait in line and can begin using the app immediately.

Simply enter the same e-mail address you registered with, click Next, and select “I got the email.” If you didn’t preregister, you can enter your e-mail address and wait for an invite from BlackBerry.

There is another way, however.

The company’s wait list can actually be bypassed after downloading the app on either your Android or iOS device. Open the app, enter your e-mail address, click Next, and then force-close it.

This can be done on iOS by double-clicking the home button and swiping the app away. On Android, enter the multitasking menu and swipe the app away, or go to Settings, Apps, BBM, and click Force Close. After relaunching the app you should have the power to create an account, which will assign you a unique PIN, and to begin inviting friends.

It should be noted that while this method worked for some CNET writers, BlackBerry could fix the workaround at any time.

Blackberry: BBM for iOS and Android downloaded by 5 millions in just 8 hours

BlackBerry revealed via the official BBM Twitter account that in the first eight hours since launching BBM for iPhone and Android, the app has been downloaded over by over 5 million customers across both platforms. The app is also now the #1 free app on the iTunes App Store.

That number could actually be much higher, as the 5 million applies only to the number of users whose accounts have been activated for use. BlackBerry did not specify how many more users were still waiting to be activated, if any.

BBM for iOS and Android now available to download

It might be a year or three late, but BlackBerry’s world-famous BBM application is now finally available for Apple’s iPhone and Android devices… almost. Because a BlackBerry launch isn’t a BlackBerry launch without a little bit of drama, the company had to halt its initial BBM rollout after an influx of Android devices using a leaked version of the app caused issues with BlackBerry’s BBM servers. Curiously, however, the rollout didn’t continue as planned even after the leaked app was blocked, and BBM is instead rolling out to Android and iPhones on a slower schedule than BlackBerry had initially announced.

BlackBerry on Monday announced new launch details for its soon-to-be cross-platform messaging service for the iPhone and Android. Basically, users will be able to download the apps starting Monday but they won’t be able to use the service right away. Instead, users enter a queue and will be able to begin using the app once BlackBerry adds them to the service.

Here’s what to do, according to BlackBerry’s blog post:

  1. Download BBM – the easiest way is to visit BBM.com from your Android or iPhone browser
  2. Once you install the app, open it, and enter your email address to hold your spot in line
  3. We will email you as soon as you reach the front of the line and can start using BBM

BlackBerry Messenger pioneered a new type of mobile messaging service that countless other companies have copied over the years. Unfortunately for BlackBerry, several of those copycats grew to become cross-platform messaging behemoths that may have doomed the company’s new BBM app for Android and the iPhone before it even got off the ground.

Then again, perhaps nostalgia will win over the hearts and thumbs of legions of former BlackBerry users and spur a wave of adoption that makes BBM a real contender.

Both new versions of BBM are completely free on iOS and Android.

Angry Birds Go to arrive on iOS and Android on December 11

Rovio has announced the next big game in its Angry Birds franchise called Angry Birds Go. Think of Mario Kart, but with the characters replaced by the famous birds and pigs and we have Angry Birds Go. The Finnish developer has released a gameplay trailer to give a glimpse at what we can expect come December 11.

Angry Birds Go is essentially a high-octane downhill racer featuring various tracks, upgradable karts and character-specific unique powers. And like the recently launched Angry Birds Star Wars II, the game will also support Hasbro’s Telepods, so that you can scan physical toys to bring them on to the virtual race track. From the short trailer, the graphics look neat and the gameplay fun, though we will reserve our judgments till December 11, when it will be available for free on iOS and Android.

You can watch the gameplay trailer in the embedded video below.

BlackBerry has 6 million pre-registered users for BBM on Android, iOS

BlackBerry has revealed it has 6 million pre-registered users for BBM on Android and iOS. The figure was revealed by Frank Boulben, the company’s chief marketing officer in an interview with Reuters. We are not sure what Boulben means by pre-registered users here but it is most likely to be the number of users who had installed the official BBM app for iOS and those who had sideloaded the leaked BBM app for Android.

BlackBerry had to postpone the launch of its BBM for Android and iOS apps after a leaked early version of its Android app was downloaded by more than a million users, playing havoc with BlackBerry’s servers. Without announcing a date, Boulben said that the app would be available on both platforms “within days.”

The beleaguered smartphone vendor has taken out full page ads in the form of an open letter in 30 newspapers across nine countries pleading customers that the company is not dead and reassuring them that it will live on and continue to provide services.