posted 3 days ago on the next web
At the presentation of its tenth batch of entrepreneurs, the 500 Startups team advanced 29 new businesses, hoping to catch the eye of the press and anyone with a big pile of cash. The adult version of show-and-tell was heavy on sports and fitness, ad sales, local businesses and big data. But only a few caught our eye during the event. Here they are. Gymtrack After that initial free personal trainer session at the gym, working out can devolve into a hodge podge of random tasks with zero input. Gymtrack wants to fix that by adding its proprietary accessories for hardware, wearable... This story continues at The Next Web

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Earlier today, gaming giant Blizzard offered a status update on the mobile versions of its popular Hearthstone digital card game. The company expects to release an Android tablet version by the end of the year, followed by iPhone and Android smartphone editions in early 2015. Blizzard revealed that it’s taking the extra time for the smartphone version to ensure that the game’s interface scales down to the smaller screens. Hearthstone’s iPad app would be the main reason I’d buy a new iPad, but now I can hold out until next year to just play it on my phone. Maybe I’ll... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 3 days ago on the next web
App creation platform MobileX Labs has announced the open beta for Nativ, its newly rebranded toolkit for building and marketing native mobile apps without having to code. Previously dubbed MXL Build, Nativ is free to use, with premium services starting at $49 per month. Once apps are built, MobileX helps customers create marketing micro-sites for their products. MobileX first released a minimum viable product of its app builder a couple years ago. In order to bootstrap the company, co-founders Dan Novaes and Kiran Panesar then used their own service to create simple apps, such as an Instagram client, that could quickly bring in... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google has updated its Docs, Sheets and Slides iOS apps to include a new “Incoming” section that shows all the files that others have shared with you. The Docs app has also received support for headings styles, better shortcuts when using a Bluetooth keyboard and improved copy and pasting between Docs and Slides. ➤ Google Docs, Sheets and Slides [iOS]

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After recent reports of iCloud logins being harvested in China through purportedly state-sponsored phishing attempts, Apple is doing some damage control.  In an update to its iCloud support documents, the company clarifies that it’s “aware of intermittent organized network attacks,” but that its servers were never breached. It then proceeds to describe guidelines for users to keep safe online when using their iCloud logins, laying out how to detect whether you’re on a safe site when using Safari, Chrome and Firefox by indicating the various methods each browser uses to show the user he or she is on an encrypted connection... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft today announced the release of its first update build for Windows 10 Technical Preview. Members of the company’s Windows Insider program will see the new release automatically appear in the Windows Update menu later today. You can also manually check for the update by going to PC Settings > Update and recovery > Preview builds. Microsoft said the update should be between 2-2.74GB. New to the build, you’ll see the Action Center notification feature from Windows Phone make its way to the desktop. Windows 10 now lets you move windows between monitors with a keyboard shortcut. Switching desktops has... This story continues at The Next Web

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Adam Benzion is the co-founder of Hackster, a global community for hardware hackers and starters. A Microsoft alumni and a hardware entrepreneur, Adam moderates The Hardware Startup group on LinkedIn. The never-ending boom of fledgling software companies in the past decade has triggered scores of accelerators around the world to support them. Now that hardware startups are joining the game, a new breed of accelerators is coming to life to meet their unique demands. But with hardware already being a fairly high-risk game, you’ll need to separate the true leaders from the trendy followers to get the support you need.... This story continues at The Next Web

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Today Google announced that Firebase, a cloud service used for building Web and mobile apps, has been added to its Cloud Platform toster. Apps built with Firebase let devs sync data automatically between mobile and web versions, and can be used to build apps that work offline too. The platform currently has over 110,000 users. Google says that its acquisition will help flesh out its platform end-to-end for mobile applications. Firebase for its part says its developers will have a better cloud infrastructure to build upon and help better scale the service to a greater set of users. Firebase will remain platform-agnostic in the meantime, so nothing... This story continues at The Next Web

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Creating a MailChimp email, even a quick update, usually involves signing into the site and building something either from a template or from scratch. It’s not exactly a quick process and its actually a deterrent if you just want to shoot off a quick message to your fans or customers. The new MailChimp Snap app lets you quickly share photo-based emails with your subscribers without dealing with the usual MailChimp interface. You can snap a photo or grab one from your Instagram feed or Camera Roll. From there you add a title, a link and a description to your email and... This story continues at The Next Web

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It seems rare to go somewhere new nowadays without checking out reviews first. If you’re looking for a place to stay the night, for instance, you probably want to know the rooms aren’t regularly full of roaches. If the rooms are critter-free, Yelp is looking to make your life a bit easier now by letting you book a hotel room right from its website or apps. The integration comes through Hipmunk, and comes along with the addition of several other partners to the Yelp Platform. These increase users’ options to order food or even make wine tasting reservations right within Yelp. The change... This story continues at The Next Web

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Rohan Ayyar works at E2M, a premium digital marketing firm specializing in creative content strategy, Web analytics and conversion rate optimization for startups. The long awaited and widely anticipated Penguin 3.0 update from Google is finally here. It’s nearly finished rolling out as I write. Penguin 1.0 targeted sites with backlinks that had anchor text overly optimized for money keywords. Penguin 2.0 went deeper and attacked sites that engaged in “black hat” practices – comments, directory listings, articles, internal pages of blog networks and mass link buying of pretty much any sort, came under its purview. And from first impressions, it appears... This story continues at The Next Web

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There’s little question that eSports is big business, which goes some way towards explaining why Amazon snapped up Twitch back in August. Now, ESL Gaming, one of the biggest eSports competition organizers in the world, is arriving on Microsoft’s Xbox One. Through the app, you can search for tournaments, sign up and compete directly from your console – this is in contrast to Twitch for Xbox One which is more about streaming than competing. If you’re a novice, you can choose from ESL Open tournaments before entering the major competitions where the big people hang. And yes, you can win... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 4 days ago on the next web
Hidely, a new iOS app launched today, is designed to keep your photos free from prying eyes. Even if you’re not sharing way too much skin with 100 of your closest pals, you still probably don’t want your personal photos in line for the next data hack. Photos taken with or imported into Hidely are “zero trace,” according to the company, because they are protected with double encryption technology that secures them from unauthorized access. Zero-trace also applies to the password: If you forget it, Hidely will not help you recover it. Unlike standard cloud storage-based platforms, which have recently proven vulnerable to... This story continues at The Next Web

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After Google bought Songza back in July, it was only a matter of time until we started to see some of the service’s features start trickling into Google’s Play Music apps. In an announcement today, Google says it’s done just that. It should come as no surprise that Songza’s most popular feature, the ability to select contextual playlists tailored to specific activities, moods and times, has now been integrated into Play Music. As with Songza, the music curated by actual people rather than just an algorithm. This means that instead of just looking through your current music or through its store, typing into Play Music’s... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 4 days ago on the next web
We knew it was coming, but now Product Hunt users have a raft of new social features designed to make it easier to keep track of people and products across the platform. Announced via email to members, the site offers redesigned user profiles (which now include your own submissions, upvotes and products) and the option to follow other users in order to receive notifications when they post a new product. The changes are being made to reflect the platform’s status as a community of users, rather than simply a website, and comes off the back of a $6.1 million funding round. Its... This story continues at The Next Web

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Vine today updated its iOS app with the ability to follow topical channels, such as Animals, Art and Comedy, and iOS 8 share extension support, which lets you post a video directly from the Camera Roll or another third-party video app. When you follow a channel, Vine will add “select featured posts” from it to your feed. With the new share extension, you can post Vines from other video recording and editing apps without having to open the Vine app. Update: After testing this with Instagram’s Hyperlapse, we’re getting an “Unable to import video” error from Vine. I did, however, manage to post a... This story continues at The Next Web

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It’s been a gradual process since Microsoft finalized the deal to acquire Nokia’s Devices & Services division back in April, but we finally have some clarity on what will happen to the Nokia brand in the hardware realm – though it may not surprise you. As noted in this Nokia France Facebook post, followers will be notified of a name-change to the Page in the coming days, and it will now be called…[drum roll]… Microsoft Lumia. The Verge has also confirmed that this social media-rebranding will continue in other countries in the coming weeks. Microsoft has been slowly redirecting some... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft today announced a new Music Deals app for Windows 8/8.1 PCs, tablets and Windows Phone 8/8.1 smartphones, offering weekly promotions on new and classic albums. Refreshed every Tuesday, Music Deals will include 101 albums for less than $2 and some debut albums at $0.99. Tapping an album will transfer you to the Xbox Music app to make the purchase. As new offers become available, you’ll receive updates to the app’s Live Tile and push notifications. ➤ Microsoft Music Deals [Windows, Windows Phone]

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Giphy is expanding its searchable library of animated GIFs with a new sticker API. The move means it can offer developers an ever-expanding library of GIFs – which all use transparent backgrounds, hence the “sticker” label – to plug into their apps and sites. Giphy is taking a two-pronged approach with the new format. It uses crawlers to find eligible stickers from across the Web, alongside an in-house team of sticker-hunting editors. Similar to how its existing database operates, Giphy then organises and indexes the stickers to ensure people can easily search for them. Finally, Giphy has its own network... This story continues at The Next Web

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Enabling 2-Step Verification is a quick and easy way to add a truly effective layer of security to your sensitive accounts. For those who need or want even tighter security, however, Google just announced it’s introducing support for physical security devices to help you out. Simply called Security Key, it works via a physical device that verifies the accounts you’re logging into are genuinely connected to Google and not a phishing effort by online crooks. Instead of typing a code, you need only insert Security Key into your USB port and tap on it when asked to in Chrome. The key uses the FIDO Universal... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google has been capturing all kinds of weird and wonderful places for Street View in recent times, and today it has announced that Tanzania’s Gombe National Park is now on board too. Made famous in the 1960s by Dr. Jane Goodall’s research into chimpanzees, the Gombe National Park is among the smaller such parks in Tanzania, at only around 20 square miles. But thanks to a partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute and Tanzania National Parks, Google has taken its trusty Street View Trekker along to collect thousands of 360 degree images. You can even peer inside Goodall’s home. ➤... This story continues at The Next Web

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This post is part of a new series titled “Business Social,” and is brought to you by Hootsuite.It’s hard to believe that Facebook is now more than a decade old. In a few short years, the platform evolved from a small network of Ivy League students to an identity management resource for people around the world. Today, Facebook touches the lives of more than 1 billion people worldwide. Consumers rely on Facebook to discover new content, stay in touch with loved ones, express themselves, and share their major life milestones. It’s no surprise that brands have ventured into this ecosystem, jumping into conversations at key “stream of consciousness” moments. And consumers are listening to what brands are... This story continues at The Next Web

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While there is already a whole bunch of chat apps available, and a fair few different ways to listen to streaming music too, sometimes all you really want to do is share a few specific tracks with a specific person. Now, you can do exactly that using Milkshake, a service that allows you to share exactly three music tracks from YouTube or Soundcloud and chat with the recipient(s) in real-time. Freshly launched, Milkshake is the brainchild of Nathan Igdaloff, James Shakespeare and Spenser Garden. In use Using Milkshake is simple with a capital S. Just start searching for a specific track or artist and it will begin... This story continues at The Next Web

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Nokia finally launched HERE maps for Android a couple of weeks back, kicking off as a Samung exclusive for Galaxy-branded devices. Today, Nokia is making the app available to all Android users, though it’s not on Google Play for now. For its remaining beta phase, you can grab the .APK file from this link, and although Nokia says it’s trying to make the app compatible with as many devices as possible, but it will require Android 4.0 or greater. It also recommends devices with at least 1GB of RAM, and a screensize of between four and six inches. Nokia’s HERE... This story continues at The Next Web

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If  you’ve already placed an order for Amazon’s new Kindle Voyage, you’ll be happy to know the company just announced the device has started shipping out to consumers. That being said,  Voyage’s buy page is still showing late November ship dates for new orders, so its not clear when exactly everyone will have them, but it’s nice to see at least some customers should be getting theirs soon. We reviewed the $199 device yesterday and think its probably the best ereader around, if not a necessary upgrade from some older models. ➤ Kindle Voyage Starts Shipping Today [Amazon Press Room]

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