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).

 

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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.

Facebook Photo Sync feature starts rolling out for Android, iPhone and iPad apps!!

 

Facebook started testing Photo Sync feature for their Android, iPhone and iPad apps back in August. Now they have started rolling out the feature to everyone. There is no app update for this feature, you just get a notification when you open the Facebook app to enable Photo Sync feature. This automatically uploads entire photos in your phone as you capture. You can also sync your entire phone photos, and you get 2GB of storage for it. The auto photo upload feature is already available on Google+ as instant upload and in Dropbox as Camera Upload.

Features of Photo Sync for Facebook

  • Sync photos to Facebook when you capture
  • All synced photos are stored in a private folder to share it later
  • Syncs photos over WiFi or Cellular, WiFi only or disable sync
  • Photos are synced at smaller size (100kb) on a cellular network
  • 2GB of Photo Sync storage

Did you try Facebook Photo Sync on your Android and iOS devices yet?

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iTunes 11 rolled out Finally !!

After some delays along the way, Apple has released the latest version of its popular music software, iTunes. The updated version, iTunes 11, was scheduled for roll out last month, but Apple had delayed the release to “get a little extra time to get it right”.

The biggest change in iTunes 11 is the redesigned interface. The focus now shifts from Cover Flow to an album cover centric layout, where the song list and details flow out when you select the individual album. The sidebar has been done away with. The new iTunes is also tightly knit with iCloud allowing you to stream the purchased music on all iOS devices. The mini-player mode now offers more details about the contents of the library.

Along with the new iTunes update, the storefronts have been given a redesign as well, the idea being they should look similar across all devices. The store also gets the history feature. All albums and songs that you browse on the iTunes store will be available here with a single click. No more buying a Justin Beiber album secretly!

Apple had faced a lot of criticism that iTunes had become “cumbersome” and “bloated” over time. Apple seems to have taken that as feedback while developing iTunes 11, and the statement that the new version is “easier and smarter” than the predecessor goes a long way, possibly, in calming down the critics.

iTunes 11 update has been a long time coming. The last major update, iTunes 10 was released back in September 2010, and Ping was the most touted feature back then. There have been incremental updates along the way, but nothing major. In September 2012, Apple announced that there are over 400 million iTunes accounts registered, and set up with the 1-Click purchase option, with a linked credit card. The iTunes store currently sells from a range of 26 million songs.

You can download iTunes 11 for Mac and PC directly from Apple’s website, or via the Apple Software Update utility if you already have iTunes installed. Some of you may not see the new update just yet. Do keep trying, because updates will be rolled out gradually, depending on server capabilities and downloading queues.

Chevrolet Spark and Sonic/Aveo to get Siri Software!!

Chevrolet has announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show that by early next year, the US versions of the Chevrolet Spark and Sonic/Aveo will incorporate the Siri software. Through the cars’ standard Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, customers with a compatible iPhone (4S and newer) running iOS 6 can direct Siri to perform a number of tasks while they safely keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. To further minimise distraction, Siri takes hands-free functionality even further with an Eyes Free mode that enables users to interact with their iPhone using nothing more than their voice while keeping the device’s screen from lighting up.

Owners simply connect their iPhone with the MyLink radio via Bluetooth, pair with the system, and use the steering wheel voice activation button to begin and end sessions with Siri in Eyes Free mode.

In the U.S., Spark and Sonic RS, owners can use Siri in Eyes Free mode to:

* Make voice-activated, hands-free calls to Contacts on their iPhone

* Play songs in the iTunes library, and even switch music sources automatically from AM/FM/XM radio to iPod mode

* Listen to, and compose and send an iMessage or text message to a phone number or anyone in saved Contacts

* Access Calendar and add appointments

* Minimise distraction even more by keeping the screen of the iPhone from lighting up, even when Siri answers simple questions such as game scores or the dates of national holidays

* While in Eyes Free mode, Siri will not provide answers to complex questions that require displaying a web page.

“It says a lot about our commitment small-car customers that Chevrolet has announced that Siri Eyes Free capability will be available in the Spark and Sonic well before the luxury brands,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director for small cars. “Safe, easy, reliable and portable connectivity is a top priority for our customers, and Siri complements MyLink’s existing capabilities to help deliver an incredible driving experience.”

Most Expected Apple Products Of 2013

Apple’s 2012 schedule has been incredibly busy; the iOS6, iPhone 5, iPad mini, new iPods, and updated Macs with specialties like retina displays and bigger sizes. And then a question arises, what’s the Apple line ups for 2013? The company had already given hints about some interesting devices, including a low cost iPhone cooking inside the Cupertino giant’s executive kitchen. Here are the speculated Apple devices which will see the light of the day in next year as compiled by Business Insider.
 Spring: Apple television?

Apple came up with the updates of just about everything at the end of 2012. This gave birth to the speculation that Apple either planned nothing for the spring or on the contrary it’s got something big to unveil.
So the next possible big release from Apple’s bag of products for the spring could be its “television”. Rumors of an Apple television have been rampant for years. So the year 2013 can be the best period to wave a green flag for the Apple TV or which may be called ‘iTV’ as Apple’s nomenclature follows.

 Spring: iPad Mini with Retina display
Apple’s iPad mini made waves in the media prior to its release and was also hit the market with the blast. But all the fanfare was fizzled and as the Apple bloggers place it “iPad mini is the real iPad, there’s only one problem which took the sheen out of device and it’s the screen”. So Apple, to rectify this problem may come up with a smarter display, the new Apple innovation “retina display”. This spring we can hope for a iPad mini which along with other things can come up with retina display.
Read Also: 9 Things That Make Apple Products “Complicated”
 Spring: iRadio
Apple has intensified talks with music labels to unveil its own advertising supported streaming radio service and it will be the competitor to Pandora Media Inc. The iRadio is supposed to start early next year, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations who want to stay anonymous.
“Radio is a natural step for Apple,” Rich Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG LLC in New York, said in an interview, reports Bloomberg. “This helps Apple dominate in cars, where people listen to an average of two hours of radio a day.”

Spring: Apple TV app store
So once the Apple TV gets big launch the next best possible offering from the Applecould be an App Store exclusive for its TV. And the company may also open up its gates for the developers to contribute the apps for its new device, in turn creating a whole new experience with the TV.
 Summer: OSX 10.9
Apple has reported to be actively testing its new version of Mac OS, called as OS X 10.9. And there were rumors that the Apple Mountain cat is about to take a big leap and include the key features from the popular iOS mobile platform. OS X 10.9 is supposed to include the Apple Maps along with Siri, the company’s virtual personal assistant that was first introduced on the iPhone 4S in late 2011.
Apple says it’s going to start updating its desktop software more frequently. Now that the person in charge of iOS is in charge of OSX, we expect the release schedules to be linked. And we expect more cross over between the two operating systems in terms of features. This new release is rumored to have Siri and Apple Maps.

 Summer: iOS 7
Apple, in each new version of iOS attempts to deliver an upgrade to add new user experiences. The iOS 6 is a good OS but for its Apple Maps and some Notification Center issues. So the next update is expected to deliver on these two discontents along with offering other new features. If one follows the pattern of Apple’s software releases , we may expect to see the iOS 6.1 this spring and later iOS 7 at
With each new version of iOS, Apple delivers an upgrade to parts of the user experience and this Notification Center mock-up shows one of the features we hope Apple includes in iOS 7.
If Apple follows their pattern for software releases, we can expect to see iOS 6.1 this Spring and the announcement of iOS 7 at The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2013, with the possibility of an iOS 7 release date tied to the iPhone 5S release, or whatever Apple calls the next iPhone.

Summer: iPhone 5S
The rumors of the iPhone 5S were sparked amazingly just weeks after iPhone 5 release. A report from the Chinese Commercial Times added fuel to the rumors stating that Apple would be manufacturing 50,000 to 100,000 test units of the “iPhone5S” in December this year.
As for the rumor goes the iPhone 5S will possibly be unveiled in the middle of 2013 as opposed to the end of next year. Apple has launched iPhone 4S in October last year and the iPhone 5 in September this year, so there was a gap of nearly a year for the launch of new iteration. But this time, as the rumor goes, Apple fans will be in for a surprise as the Cupertino giant will put in orders for the iPhone 5S starting in March or April of next year, way earlier than many assumed.
The Apple may choose the summer launch next year to boost the sales of its device in holiday season and also to take on with its rival Samsung.

Fall: The iPad 5
Apple shocked technophiles and industry experts around the world with its unexpected unveiling of the iPad 4, alongside the iPad Mini, at an event in California last month.
The company’s near 12 month cycle for the new iteration’s launches, which use to be under wraps, has become predictable. But the launch of iPad 4 was so covert that the rumor mill was completely unaware of its existence until it launched.
Nevertheless this new strategy from Apple is not stopping the rumor mill from speculating the launch of iPad 5. The rumors are already abounding about that the new sleeker, lighter and loaded iPad 5 will hit the shelves early next year.
WILD CARD: A cheap, totally different iPhone
Apple iPhones were considered to be costlier with respect to its rival android devices. So Apple may come up with the iPhone which would be cheaper and totally different from the existing iPhones to gain market especially in the developing countries like India and China. May be it will be a reality in next year.

SignEasy lets you sign documents on the phone!

It isn’t uncommon to get a call when you are on a holiday that you needed to sign some important document. It happened to Sunil Patro. “In 2009, when I was vacationing in Mexico, I got an email that I had to sign and fax a few important documents. I had a tough time looking for a fax machine and a printer,” he says. 
That ordeal led him to create an app calledSignEasy that enables digital signatures on mobile devices. You can access your documentsfrom your emails, and cloud storage devices such as Box, Dropbox and Ever note and sign on them using a stylus or finger on your touch-enabled mobile device. The app also supports file formats including PDFs, JPEGs and TIFFs. The freemium app is available for both iOS and Android devices. 

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

“I’ve used it ever since it came out. I use it probably once a month,” says Sudeep Mishra, MD and founder of TresVista Financial Services. Mishra feels that the app is safe and has even used it to sign contracts of $1 million. “It makes business a lot simpler,” he adds. 
SignEasy takes security seriously. It uses a two-step authentication with your email and a PIN code, and this has to be done twice. The app also keeps an audit trail of the times a document is opened and closed so that you know if a document has been tampered and edited after it has been signed. The entire process is done over secure and encrypted internet protocols. In India, the app cannot be used to sign bank documents as they insist on pen and paper. But Patro isn’t concentrating much on banks for his business. He feels there are “enough documents other than in banks” to be signed. Patro is an IIT Kharagpur graduate and has worked in Microsoft and Juniper Networks . While working for Juniper Networks in the Bay Area, Patro was inspired by the startup culture and joined a few before working on his own app in 2009. 

Deutsch: Logo

Deutsch: Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are huge fans of the app. Bijan Sabet, a partner at Spark Capital, said on his blog: “My latest mobile only app that I love is SignEasy. I have it on my iPhone and once installed you simply do a long tap on a document in mail or dropbox, choose SignEasy and then use your finger to sign a document. I had to sign a bunch of time sensitive docs yesterday. “

 

 

Read full story at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/personal-tech/computing/SignEasy-lets-you-sign-documents-on-the-phone/articleshow/17403446.cms