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The Star Wars franchise is just too lucrative to stay dormant for very long. Today, Disney Interactive and Lucasfilm are returning to the iconic sci-fi universe with a new strategy video game called Star Wars: Commander for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. If you’ve ever played Clash of Clans or other strategy games that incorporate a base-building component, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect here. Star Wars: Commander drops you off in the famous Tatooine with partner-in-crime Saponza; after a couple of tutorial missions you’re asked to choose between the evil Galactic Empire and heroic Rebel Alliance... This story continues at The Next Web The post Star Wars: Commander for iOS lets you build a base and fight for the Empire or Rebel Alliance appeared first on The Next Web.

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Steller, a beautiful storytelling iOS app developed by Mombo Labs that lets you create photo and video stories with an emphasis on design, has gotten a much-needed refresh that makes it easier to search for stories and interact with other users. The update finally lets you add comments to stories. It has also introduced hashtags, so you can use them in stories and comments, and in turn search for content through hashtags and keywords. To catch the eyes of fellow users, you can also @Mention them now. There is also a new ‘Explore’ page displaying a selection of stories that you may be interested in,... This story continues at The Next Web The post Steller, a beautiful storytelling iOS app, makes it easier to find stories and interact with users appeared first on The Next Web.

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Drync is about as all-encompassing a wine app as you can get, letting you track your top tipples, discover new bottles, create notes, peruse reviews, and even order in-app. Indeed, all you need to do is take a photo of a wine’s label, and the Drync app finds its availability, price, ratings and more. Having been available for iPhone since the early days, Drync finally arrived for Android back in 2010, and today this version that’s getting a cool new feature: Google Wallet integration. This makes Drync the first wine app to introduce Google Wallet, as far as we know.... This story continues at The Next Web The post Drync for Android now lets US oenophiles pay for wine using Google Wallet appeared first on The Next Web.

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Social-focused ticket-distribution company Ticketfly has announced it has acquired WillCall, a live-music discovery app that makes it easy to find tickets for live shows in NYC, San Francisco and LA. We first covered Ticketfly way back in 2010, calling it the “fastest growing ticketing company in the market,” at a time when it was shifting north of 1.2 million tickets a year. Ticketfly started operating in 2009 however, and has been growing rapidly ever since – it was one of Facebook’s early Open Graph partners, letting users buy tickets directly through the social network. It went international with the acquisition of... This story continues at The Next Web The post Ticketfly snaps up fellow live-music ticketing company WillCall to help take on Ticketmaster appeared first on The Next Web.

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Back in March this year, WeTransfer launched its app for iOS devices, thereby allowing people to send files of up to 10GB for free without the need for any sort of registration. Now, the app is available for Android devices too. While it follows in the footsteps of the iOS launch, the app is actually a little more permissive on Android; specifically, it allows you to send pretty much any file from within the OS via the ‘Share’ button, rather than needing to launch the WeTransfer app specifically first. In addition to basic file sending support, the Android app also... This story continues at The Next Web The post WeTransfer now lets Android users send files of up to 10GB in one go too appeared first on The Next Web.

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Sir Alexander Graham Bell may be better known as the guy who invented the first ‘practical’ telephone, but the Scottish scientist laid claim to an arsenal of additional innovations. Among these were the photophone, a wireless telephone of sorts that enabled sounds (including speech) to be transmitted via light. It’s said that Bell actually valued the photophone more than the telephone from his lifetime achievements, even though it never quite took off and is now consigned to the footnotes of history. However, more than 130 years after the photophone first came to light, Professor Harald Haas is pioneering his own... This story continues at The Next Web The post Let there be Li-Fi: Meet the man who’s bringing connectivity to the world through LED appeared first on The Next Web.

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Twitter is giving iOS users the ability to watch select videos with a minimized player while browsing the timeline and other parts of the app. Spotted by Neal Mann, the update applies only to videos that use Twitter’s homegrown, in-app video player. If you’re unsure, these videos mean you should see a full-screen player with retweet, favorite and reply shortcuts when you first press the play button in your feed. Furthermore, the new functionality isn’t supported by YouTube videos, Vines, or any other clips that are hosted elsewhere on the Web and visible via Twitter’s regular Player Card. Inside the... This story continues at The Next Web The post Twitter for iOS now lets you watch videos in a mini player while continuing to browse your timeline appeared first on The Next Web.

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Audio-sharing platform SoundCloud is introducing ads for the first time ever, in line with launching a new program for its content creators that allows them to make money on the platform. The new creator partner program, On SoundCloud, has three tiers: Partner, Pro and Premier. What’s new and interesting is the Premier tier, which now lets creators make money from their tracks through advertising — but only when the content is played in the US. Revenue will be shared between SoundCloud and the creator involved. At launch, creators who want to join the Premier level can only get in via an invitation. This... This story continues at The Next Web The post SoundCloud introduces ads and revenue sharing, as it prepares to launch a subscription service appeared first on The Next Web.

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Sky has announced a wealth of new features rolling out to its Sky+ HD customers in the UK from today, many of which promise to make it easier to find new shows to watch, as well as easier to navigate the programme guide. Announced today, the update brings a handy ‘Smart Series Link’ feature that automatically records new series of shows already in your series recording list, and also introduces a useful ‘HDMI One Touch’ option. This allows you to program the ‘Sky’ button to turn on the Sky+HD box and TV (as well as switching to the correct HDMI input) in a single... This story continues at The Next Web The post Sky introduces new ‘recommendation engine’, Smart Series Link and more for Sky+HD TV customers appeared first on The Next Web.

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Browser-maker Opera has inked a licensing agreement with Microsoft that will see its browser become the default for all phones on Microsoft’s (Nokia) Series 30+, Series 40 and Asha software platforms. Windows Phone may be struggling to rival iOS and Android on market share — despite a number of quality devices — but the Nokia brand, which Microsoft now owns, remains strong in the emerging world. We noted that when Microsoft launched the $25 Nokia 130 earlier this month, a move that signaled its intention to remain in the entry-level market because “Microsoft doesn’t have any other project that can reach these consumers.” The... This story continues at The Next Web The post Microsoft will make Opera Mini the default browser on its low-end phones appeared first on The Next Web.

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Google dispatched its distinctive cars to bring Street View to Indonesia back in 2012, and now the first fruits of that labor are finally showing. Today, nearly two years later, Google launched its first Street View imagery of the massive country on Google Maps, starting with four of the largest cities. Google partnered with Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy to embark on what was termed as its biggest project in Asia, since Indonesia has a population of more than 240 million and is a large country that consists of many islands. The panoramic photos of Jakarta, Bogor, Denpasar and Surabaya... This story continues at The Next Web The post Google Street View now lets you peek at Indonesia’s biggest cities and stunning underwater reefs appeared first on The Next Web.

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LG is increasing its focus on first-time smartphone buyers after it announced two new 3G devices: the L Fino and L Bello. The 4.5-inch L Fino runs on a 1.2 GHz quadcore processor, while the L Bello is five inches and is powered by a superior 1.3 GHz quadcore chip. Both include 1 GB of memory, and eight-megapixel rear-facing cameras. The L Bello has slightly more impressive specs, which includes a one-megapixel front-facing camera, versus the L Fino’s more basic VGA snapper. LG says the phones are ideal for teenagers or first-time smartphone owners who want the benefits of 3G and multimedia without a hefty price... This story continues at The Next Web The post LG targets first-time smartphone owners with two new quad-core, 3G devices appeared first on The Next Web.

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Music search company SoundHound is now letting you add your discoveries to streaming service Rdio in-app. The new feature called “Connect to Rdio” automatically places songs that you have tagged in SoundHound into a playlist accessed from inside the Rdio app. Existing SoundHound users will see a plus sign in their search results page if they haven’t connected to Rdio. When the Plus (+) is tapped, users will be directed to the set-up page for “Connect to Rdio.”   SoundHound first teamed up with streaming service Rdio in December 2012 to release a new music mapping feature, and the partnership has... This story continues at The Next Web The post SoundHound now lets you add music discoveries into an Rdio playlist in-app appeared first on The Next Web.

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Dong Nguyen, the man best known for creating the hatefully-addictive Flappy Bird game, teased details of his new game earlier this week, and now Swing Copters has landed on iOS and Android. Dong’s latest bid for your sanity is much like Flappy Bird. Rather than navigating a bird sideways, you are tasked with guiding a cute little helicopter’s upward flight while avoiding pairs of hammers that swing from each gate. Like Flappy Bird, you get a point for every gate that you pass through. The copter flies from side-to-side automatically, but you can change its direction with a tap. That means... This story continues at The Next Web The post Hands-on with Swing Copters, the follow-up to Flappy Bird appeared first on The Next Web.

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Even fast food needs to get on the digital bandwagon if it wants to reach a wider audience, and McDonald’s is clear about that. What’s interesting is that the Golden Arches has plans to step into digital music and an ambitious eye on e-commerce, as CNBC reports. Job listings on McDonald’s reveal that the company is looking for a release manager for its e-commerce platform and global mobile ordering app. The company is also seeking a product director for music and entertainment, who will “establish multi-channel music and emerging entertainment programs to reward our most enthusiastic customers and drive frequency,”... This story continues at The Next Web The post McDonald’s big appetite for digital is revealed in plans for online music and mobile ordering appeared first on The Next Web.

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MediaFire, the file hosting and sharing service, has updated its Android cloud storage app to offer a host of new and improved photo and video services as well as new sharing options and a refreshed interface. The new 2.0 Android version is free on the Google Play Store. With this upgrade, Android users can now count on MediaFire to automatically store, access and share their mobile photos and videos. MediaFire has also improved performance for streaming music and videos and offers additional options for sharing documents and media directly from a mobile device via email, SMS or a chat app. Files are stored in the... This story continues at The Next Web The post MediaFire updates Android app with automatic photo and video syncing appeared first on The Next Web.

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If you’ve used Twitter for any length of time, you’ve come in contact with its massive underbelly of spam. Today, the company shared details of its BotMaker anti-spam system, which has contributed to a 40 percent drop in Twitter’s own spam metrics since it was introduced. As Twitter notes, one of the difficulties it faces in combating unwanted content is that spammer “know (almost) everything” about its counter-measures because of the developer API. The real-time nature of Twitter also means that any systems must operate without adding latency to the service. BotMaker is governed by three guiding principles, according to Twitter: “prevent... This story continues at The Next Web The post Twitter details BotMaker, its anti-spam system that has curbed junk tweets by 40% appeared first on The Next Web.

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Pics.io, the company pioneering online upload and editing of raw photos in the browser, has announced a public beta of its new photo storage and management service based on Google Web services. Pics.io (pronounced Pixio) is a Web app that allows you to access, manage, edit and share photos from any device via your Google+ account with online storage in Google Drive. Offered as an ad-free alternative to Flickr, the service will feature Pics.io’s signature Raw uploading and editing capabilities in addition to new asset management functions. Photo storage features that include rating tools such as stars, flags and color labels, complement the... This story continues at The Next Web The post Pics.io unveils public beta of Google Drive-connected photo management app appeared first on The Next Web.

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Google has announced a new update to its Google Glass firmware that will provide access to all your phone contacts on the headset. Your top 20 contacts will be available by voice command, and you’ll have to swipe to get to the rest. Earlier versions of the software only allowed you to store up to 10 contacts via Glass. Glass users will now have the option to choose between Hangouts, email and SMS when tapping on a contact. Android users can take advantage of the new features as soon as the Glass update is live, while Google is working on... This story continues at The Next Web The post Google Glass update adds support for all contacts, switching between Hangouts, email and SMS appeared first on The Next Web.

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Henry Helgeson is the CEO of Merchant Warehouse. The US lags the rest of the world in one significant technological area: payments. One reason we’ve fallen behind is the inertia of our legacy payments infrastructure, and the fact that it is more difficult to replace a working system than build one from scratch. Yet, while many Americans consider alternative payments non-essential, the rest of the world is silently surpassing us. They’re building simpler, more secure commerce networks – and perhaps constructing the rails to leapfrog the U.S. economically in the process. Ingenious workarounds in areas with major political and infrastructural... This story continues at The Next Web The post How China and Kenya are winning the payment wars appeared first on The Next Web.

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PayPal today revamped its Windows Phone app with “the same seamless PayPal experience to shop and pay as you do on Android and iOS platforms.” You can download the new version now directly from the Windows Phone Store. The new version supports in-store payments, locating and redeeming offers, as well as check-in to pay and order ahead at local businesses that accept PayPal. The company also emphasizes that some participating restaurants will let you pay at the table by using your smartphone to see the bill and skip waiting to pay at the end of your meal. PayPal says it... This story continues at The Next Web The post PayPal for Windows Phone revamped with in-store payments, offers, check-in to pay, and order ahead appeared first on The Next Web.

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Here’s something to add to your wish list. During a recent hack day, Netflix engineers built a custom interface for browsing the service on an Oculus Rift VR headset. The project appears to use the Leap Motion controller to include gesture support so you can wave your hand to scroll through movies you want to watch. The Oculus Rift isn’t quite ready for Netflix-level bingewatching, and there’s no guarantee this will become a real product, but we’re still hoping for the day when we can go full couch potato with a face computer. Here’s Netflix’s disclaimer about the hack day: [These] are some examples... This story continues at The Next Web The post Netflix built an experimental 3D room UI for the Oculus Rift appeared first on The Next Web.

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Google today announced the release of Chrome in Cuba. Citizens of the country can now grab the browser directly from Google.com.cu. The block was originally enforced in accordance with US export controls and economic sanction regulations. The company didn’t explain why Cubans can suddenly download Chrome starting today, but it did say, “As these trade restrictions evolve we’ve been working to figure out how to make more tools available in sanctioned countries.” Google first blocked the use of Chrome within sanctioned countries like Syria and Iran back in October 2008 (the browser launched in September 2008). In January 2011, the... This story continues at The Next Web The post Google brings its Chrome browser to Cuba as US trade restrictions ‘evolve’ appeared first on The Next Web.

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When Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s former CEO, noted in a letter earlier this week that he was resigning from the company’s board of directors to focus on owning the LA Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study, it raised the question: Where will he teach? Business Insider reports that Ballmer will co-teach a course in “Leading Organizations” at the Stanford Graduate School of Business this fall. Next spring, Ballmer will teach at USC’s Marshall School of Business. The USC gig should make it easy for him to spend more time with the Clippers during the second half of the 2014-2015 NBA season. Ballmer... This story continues at The Next Web The post Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer rebounds with teaching roles at Stanford and USC business schools appeared first on The Next Web.

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This post originally appeared on the Crew blog. It often takes an outsider’s perspective to learn about new opportunities, whether they take the form of flaws, bugs, or unique use cases. The most valuable opportunities often come from customers themselves — the people who are hands on with your product every day. For those just starting-up, or starting to realize that your product and community teams could improve their communications, here are six reasons that your entire team needs to be listening to the conversation surrounding your brand. 1. Guiding your business strategy or product roadmap (pre and post-launch) Many companies miss a... This story continues at The Next Web The post Learning to listen: 6 huge benefits of paying attention to your community appeared first on The Next Web.

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