YouTube gets sleek new design with cross-site Guide feature to promote subscriptions and channels!!

YouTube has released new features designed to help make it easier for viewers to subscribe and watch channels on its site. Part of this effort is the expansion of its Guide feature, which now reaches across multiple devices. Additionally, the service is rolling out a new look to the site that it says is cleaner and simpler.

With channel subscriptions, YouTube has been focused on helping users to discover new videos. Although rolled out five years ago, it was last year when the company made it easier for people to subscribe by adding the Guide on the homepage.

As you may have seen, when you add subscriptions to your Guide, it shows you videos related to what you’ve seen before. Now, the Guide follows you across all of your devices, including Android, iPhone, iPad, Playstation 3, Google TV, and more — never again will you need to remember what channel had your favorite video.

guide 1 YouTube gets sleek new design with cross site Guide feature to promote subscriptions and channels

There are over 4 billion hours of video watched on YouTube alone each month. Within the last year, the number of users subscribing to channels has doubled, and the company is estimating that an additional 30% rise is to be expected. In other words, managing subscriptions is definitely important.

With over 800 million people visiting the site each month, discovering videos isn’t enough — YouTube is also rolling out a new layout where its “crucial elements” are up front and center: the video is at the top of the page with the subscribe button, social actions, and video info are below it. This places the emphasis on the video content, and nothing else. Your playlists are also available on the right-hand side so you can navigate through other videos as well.

newlook 1 YouTube gets sleek new design with cross site Guide feature to promote subscriptions and channels

It appears that YouTube had been making some design changes to the service for a while now. As TechCrunch reported, a YouTube spokesperson stated that “with more videos coming to YouTube every minute, we’re always experimenting with ways to help people more easily find, watch and share the videos that matter most to them. As always, we’ll consider rolling changes out more broadly based on feedback on these experiments.”

For those participating in the YouTube Creators program, a resource to help users create better content by taking advantage of the service’s tools, there are at least three things to note about what the new design means: the Guide is everywhere and will promote channel activity to fans, the video now becomes center stage on the viewing page, and lastly, it’s now easier for fans to subscribe along with what it calls “enhanced channel recommendations”.

Photo credit: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images

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Facebook unveils the top rated games of 2012: SongPop leads, six Zynga games in top 25!!

Facebook revealed which are the top 25 best-rated games of 2012, meaning the games that received the highest star ratings from players, as well as engagement levels, over the course of this year.

Not that the year is over already or anything, but you know.Notably, the list was compiled employing the same methodology used to rank apps in Facebook’s App Center, which means it is based on both star ratings by users, positive and negative user signals and engagement levels between the date range (January-November 2012).

The list below takes into account games that launched in 2012 on Facebook.com, as well as mobile games integrated with Facebook. It only includes games with at least 100,000 monthly active Facebook users.Facebook says this year’s list makes for the “most diverse and global year” for social games to date, thanks to the emergence of entirely new categories of games, immersive gameplays and games that were developed by companies around the globe – big and small.

Without further ado, below are the top 25 best-rated social games of 2012 according to Facebook users (whether on the Web or games built on top of Facebook for iOS and Android). We’ve added some thoughts and findings below the list.

  1. SongPop (by FreshPlanet, available on Facebook.com, iOS and Android)
  2. Dragon City (by Social Point, available on Facebook.com)
  3. Bike Race (by Top Free games, available on iOS)
  4. Subway Surfers (by Kiloo, available on iOS and Android)
  5. Angry Birds Friends (by Rovio, available on Facebook.com)
  6. FarmVille 2 (by Zynga, available on Facebook.com)
  7. Scramble with Friends (by Zynga, available on iOS)
  8. Clash of Clans (by Supercell, available on iOS)
  9. Marvel: Avengers Alliance (by Playdom, available on Facebook.com)
  10. Draw Something (by Zynga, available on iOS and Android)
  11. Hay Day (by Supercell, available on iOS)
  12. Baseball Heroes (by Syntasia, available on Facebook.com)
  13. ChefVille (by Zynga, available on Facebook.com)
  14. CSR Racing (by NaturalMotion Games, available on iOS)
  15. Candy Crush Saga (by King.com, available on Facebook.com and iOS)
  16. Matching With Friends (by Zynga, available on Facebook.com)
  17. Legend Online (by OASIS GAMES, available on Facebook.com)
  18. Jurassic Park Builder (by Ludia, available on Facebook.com)
  19. Dungeon Rampage (by Rebel Entertainment, available on Facebook.com)
  20. Pockie Ninja II Social (by NGames Limited, available on Facebook.com)
  21. Jetpack Joyride (by Halfbrick, available on Facebook.com)
  22. Social Empires (by Social Point, available on Facebook.com and iOS)
  23. Bil ve Fethet (by Peak Games, available on Facebook.com)
  24. Ruby Blast Adventures (by Zynga, available on Facebook.com and iOS)
  25. Pyramid Solitaire Saga (by King.com, available on Facebook.com)

Be that as it may, music trivia game SongPop from NYC-basedFreshPlanet was apparently the crowd favorite this year, with social mobile games Dragon City (Social Point) and Bike Race (Top Free Games) coming in at second and third place, respectively.

The amazing thing is FreshPlanet is quite young and nimble, and has only created four games so far. Definitely one to watch.What you’ll notice is that the top 5 best-rated games of this year weren’t made or published by any of the 25 top developers according to theAppData leaderboard (based on monthly active users), except for Barcelona, Spain-based Social Point.Aside from Zynga, only three game developers, namely Social Point, King.com and Supercell, have more than one game on the best-rated social games list.Zynga, the top developer across the board in terms of monthly active players (still according to AppData) only comes in at #6 with FarmVille 2.

We should note, however, that Zynga has an impressive six of the top rated games on Facebook this year, and it is also the only one with more than two games in the list altogether.

Taking a step back to look at things from a distance, Facebook notes that it was “the most international year for social games”.

The majority of top rates games came from outside the United States, ranging from France, Spain and the United Kingdom to Brazil, South Korea, Australia, and Turkey, the social networking giant says.According to Facebook, 56 percent of the games are available on Facebook.com, while the remaining 44 percent are social mobile games (available on iPhone, iPad and Android).

 

Something New: Smartphones to light up Sydney’s New Year show!!

Sydney. Fireworks Newyear 2006. Opera House an...

Sydney‘s world-famous New Year‘s Eve fireworks will go interactive with a smartphone-powered light show, officials announced Thursday, with ambassador Kylie Minogue calling on the city to embrace.

The light show, described by City of Sydney officials as a “world-first”, will run through an app on iPhone and Android smartphones that will illuminate the screens with colour at scheduled intervals leading up to midnight.The city is hoping to attract more than one million people to the harbour foreshore to witness the fireworks, and organisers want the crowds to hold their phones aloft to form a synchronised wave of colour.

“In a city of great diversity we come together at New Year’s Eve to embrace the future and celebrate all that we are and the potential that tomorrow holds,” Minogue, the event’s creative ambassador, said in a video message for Thursday’s official launch. Minogue said the theme for the 2012 celebrations, Embrace, was about “acceptance, tolerance, fun and above all love”. “This year I want everyone to embrace during the 9pm family fireworks and the midnight fireworks,” she said.

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

“Whether it’s embracing new ideas, change and opportunities, or just giving a big hug to your family and friends, it’s something everyone can get involved in.”

App users will also be able to submit a word to be projected onto the pylons of the Harbour Bridge, which is typically the centrepiece of an evening’s pyrotechnics.

The Sydney fireworks kick off global New Year’s celebrations and are seen by billions of people worldwide.

Google releases new Android distribution stats, Jelly Bean up to 6.7 percent!!

Google has updated its Android distribution stats on its Android Developers site, and not a big surprise that the standings haven’t changed much from the previous stats. However, Google’s latest Android Jelly Bean platform has grown two-fold form last month.

According to Google’s Android distribution stats,Jelly Bean (including both Android v4.1 and v4.2) have 6.7 percent share, up from 2.7 percent at the November-start. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has also seen similar growth, posting 27.5 percent in December, up from 25.8 percent.

Talking about the pre-ICS versions, Android 3.0 Honeycomb struggled at 1.6 percent share. Android 2.3 Gingerbread, however, continues to be the top Android OS with 50.6 percent share of all Android devices. The figures are though lower from the 54.2 percent share that was posted in November. Other older Android versions, Android 2.2 Froyo is at 10.3 percent, Android 2.1 Eclair with 2.7 percent, Android 1.6 Donut with 0.3 percent and Android 1.5 Cupcake at 0.1 percent. Check out the complete Android distribution stats in the table below:

Data collected during a 14-day period ending on December 3, 2012

Most handset makers are gradually revealing their Jelly Bean update schedule, while many are still rolling out the ICS updates. It may take a while for the new Android versions to have their share spike in the near future. Next year, ICS is likely to be dominant while we may have small number of devices running on Android 5.0, which is being dubbed as Key Lime Pie

It’s notable these figures don’t include the Android devices that cannot access the Google Play store. You can check out the latest Android distribution stats here.

The Mahindra Blue Sense app for XUV500 is here!!

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. introduces the first ever vehicle smart app for its global SUV, the XUV500. The Mahindra BLUE SENSE® APP has been introduced on the XUV500 in India with a host of features. One can control features of the infotainment system as well as see vital information related to climate control, TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System), fuel statistics, etc.

The Mahindra BLUE SENSE® APP is supported on the XUV500’s W8 model and also provides alerts and warnings related to various features including ‘door-open’, tyre pressure, ‘distance to empty’, etc.

Through this application, XUV500 owners will be able to connect with their vehicle via Bluetooth, get information about periodic maintenance, tune-in to their desired radio station and operate as well as control the infotainment system using their Android devices, sitting anywhere in the XUV500.
Existing as well as new XUV500 customers of can download the app from http://mahindraxuv500.com/product/mobile-downloads.htm

Earlier, Mahindra XUV500 had launched a “Tell Tale App” which has been downloaded by more than 7000 XUV500 users on their Android devices. This app helps users know about the XUV500’s instrument cluster in just one click and helps them keep track of their fuel consumption. This app also can be downloaded from the same link mentioned above.

The XUV500 with 41,000+ vehicles on Indian roads was designed entirely in-house at Mahindra’s world class research and development facility called Mahindra Research Valley at Chennai, and has, since launch in end-September 2011, set a benchmark of its own.

The XUV500 enjoys a market share of 60% in the high-end SUV segment. Having received a phenomenal response in India, the XUV500 has also made its mark in countries like Australia, South Africa and now in Italy as well. The company has already ramped up its production capacity to 5,000 units per month to meet rising demand. The All Wheel Drive (AWD) model of the XUV500 is now also available for bookings.

Facebook to buy mobile chat app WhatsApp?

If reports are to be believed, Facebook is looking to buy multi-platform instant messaging application WhatsApp in a bid to improve its mobile services.

Citing sources close to the matter, TechCrunchreports the social networking giant has shown keen interest in acquiring WhatsApp. The site, however, could not provide more information about the possible price range or the talks are in which stage right now. Facebook and WhatsApp are yet to comment on the reports.

Buying WhatsApp would make a lot of sense for Facebook, which has of late looked to tap its mobile services to up revenues. WhatsApp, launched in 2009, announced in October last year that it had more than 100 millioni daily users across the world, sending and receiving 1 billion messages per day. These impressive figures might have prompted Facebook to bring in such features to its social network. It’s notable WhatsApp has users base across multiple mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone.

Facebook to buy mobile chat app WhatsApp?

“Just how much is 1 billion messages? That is 41,666,667 messages an hour, 694,444 messages a minute, and 11,574 messages a second,” WhatsApp boasted in a blog post.  “Unlike Facebook, Whatsapp is a paid app. And obviously, having a paid, ad-free service is an expansion of Facebook’s business model beyond advertising. We’ve already seen Facebook launch another service that diversifies it — Gifts — and the positive impact that has had with investors,” says the report.

Right now it’s not clear exactly what Facebook would do with WhatsApp if it bought. But it is believed that the move would help deeper integration of the IM with the social networking site.

Reports of Facebook-WhatsApp deal come days after the messenger app drew harsh criticism from security and mobile researchers over the alleged security risks based on its authentication process. According to CNET, various bloggers dubbed the process a “security nightmare”, alleging the app leaked data collected off the device when it’s being relayed to services.

Recently, WhatsApp suffered a glitch that showed “error:uknown” as contact status. According to reports, the glitch had affected thousands of users worldwide. The bug was followed by a hoax message urging people who use the app to forward a message to all their contacts or face having their accounts deleted. Read more about the WhatsApp glitch here.

Norton Mobile Security released for iPhone and iPad!!

 

Symantec has released Norton Mobile Security for iPhone and iPad. It lets users keep their device secure, recover a lost or stolen device and prevent strangers from accessing their information. Unlike the Norton Mobile Security for Android, you can’t lock the device remotely or Block calls or SMS yet.

Features of Norton Mobile Security for iPhone and iPad

  • Backup contacts online and restore it across devices (iPhone, iPad or Android)
  • Control the security of the devices from one convenient Web interface
  • Scream Alarm sets off an audible alarm to find the missing device
  • Remote Locate lets you pinpoint a lost or stolen device on a map so users can find it fast

The Norton Mobile Security is priced at Rs. 599 for 1 year protection and is available for purchase from Norton online store. After purchasing the license, you can download the Norton Mobile Security on your iPhone or iPad and login with those credentials to use the app.