Posts Tagged ‘app’
If you’re a Barclays’ customer who has been trying to do some online banking, you’ll know that their service seems to be down. Customers are unable to access their accounts and the mobile app isn’t working either.
The site has been showing a message that says: “5 – Sorry – Barclays Online Banking is currently unavailable.” If you hit ‘next’, you get an error message.
The site isitdownrightnow.com is showing that disruption is widespread too.
Of course, Barclays customers are taking to the internet to get angry about it, and as yet, there’s no word from Barclays themselves from their main account. The UK wing apologised yesterday for some app disruption, but it appears it has all gone awry again.
Looks like customers will have to wait ’til the morning for an answer or apology. Until then, Barclays customers are advised to complain direct to the company themselves, rather than complaining so everyone else can see it (that only ensures that people will think you deserve your financial predicament).
We’ll follow this up when we hear more.
“It’s definitely a free service,” said Andrew Bocking, executive vice-president of BBM for BlackBerry. “We have other ideas on how to monetize that service.”
Basically, the service will make money through adverts and marketing.
“We continue to plan to evolve the service and keep making it more engaging and have more reasons why people will come back to use the service,” said Bocking. ”This is one we’re definitely investing in, this is definitely one of our key strategies, but it’s one of many.”
BlackBerry have been crowing about how the BBM app has been downloaded 10 million times on Apple and Android devices, but that is nothing compared to how many people use WhatsApp and, with WhatsApp existing (as well as Twitter, Facebook, Skype and all the rest), is there a place for BBM?
Well, one pub is trying something different in a bid to kill the queue – they’ve got technology involved so you can order through your mobile.
If you go to the Keyworth Tavern in Nottingham you can even order your round while you’re on the way, thanks to this Orderella app. You can order from your table once you get in and a bartender will bring over your booze. You’ll only have to stand up to defecate or dance badly to the jukebox.
All drinks are charged to an account to avoid actually using cash and the app will be rolled out at 50 pubs across the UK next month.
Landlord Adrian Clarke reckons the app has already gone down well, saying: “A group of customers even had a bet to see which would be quicker – ordering a drink on the phone or going up to the bar as normal. The phone app won.”
Naturally, the advent of not using cash could mean that the app generates a feeling of ‘pretend money’ and you might end up buying far more than you intended, but at least you’ll get a roaring night out of it. It won’t matter if you’re legless now.
Have a look at the app here.
HMV have relaunched their digital service in a bid to stay relevant after the company was a dog’s whisker away from being put down at the vets. Now, with Nipper’s new service, we can browse HMV’s digital catalogue, buy and pre-order MP3s and generally obtain a service that’s available elsewhere.
There will be a HMV app, whic is the first non-iTunes-based service on Apple’s iOS platform which will allow music downloads through a native app, according to the company.
In the app, there’s a nifty thing called ‘image search’, where you can scan album covers with your phone and listen to a 30 second preview. There’s also ‘sound search’, which allows you to discover tunes they hear while you’re going about your business. So, Shazam then?
While these things are all well and good, people will surely still listen to leaks on YouTube or get stuck into torrents? HMV isn’t exactly offering a solution to a problem here.
“For the first time, music lovers have the ability to experience the traditional feel of HMV on the high street and have the option to discover and build a digital music collection, delivered and managed across devices, from HMV, the Home of Entertainment,” said James Coughlan, Managing Director of HMV Digital.
“An exciting vision is unfolding and I look forward to announcing further developments regarding our plans for 2014 in the coming weeks – this is just the beginning!”
The HMV app is available from today, free of charge, if you want to test drive it.
Forget open letters to Miley Cyrus, this, my friends, is what wifi was invented for – a kettle you can switch on using your phone.
Designed to cater for ‘urgent hot drink scenarios’ (and let’s face it, there are several thousand of those a day), the iKettle can be activated from anywhere in the home, and you can even change the temperature to suit your drink. If you’re a hopeless green tea drinking hippy, for example, you can set it at 80º, or if you’re a coffee drinking macho man, 95º.
‘Stop wasting time waiting for water to boil. Relax. Let the iKettle take care of you.’ Says the iKettle blurb. Ok, so it’s a stupid Christmas novelty gadget, but this could be the most useful invention since the human being. When the water is boiled, iKettle sends you a message asking if you’d like to keep the water warm, and it has an automatic shut off system so the kettle will never boil dry. And if you put it in Wake Mode, it gently rouses you with a cheery ‘Good Morning! Would you like me to put the kettle on? Yes/No.’
So basically, the iKettle is your mum, best friend, carer and lover all in one. YAY! WE DON’T NEED PEOPLE ANY MORE!
The iKettle costs £99.99 and is available for pre-order from firebox.com
Do you sometimes wish that you had a chef? Some skilled and multi-talented cook who could whip you up a treat when you can’t be arsed to order a Dominos again?
Well, a new app and website, called Cookisto, is a kind of Grindr for the greedy, and a godsend for lazy gits everywhere. Cookisto allows amateur and aspiring chefs in your area to bring their delicious leftovers straight to your door. Pay £8 and you could be sticking your head in someone else’s curry, or heaving the Tupperware lid off some culinary delight from a local cook.
But don’t worry that you’re going to get a hairball in your meatballs or some arsenic in your arrabiata– the chefs have to pass hygiene standards first. (Unless they come to your house with KNIVES, in which case, sorry, you’re on your own.)
Cookisto is a huge hit in Athens, where 12000 people have signed up to scoff some local leftovers, and the service has now launched in the UK. On the UK version, there’ll also be a new bespoke service where you can commission them to cook a meal of your choice.
So there’s no need to ever go in the kitchen again. In fact, you can just burn it down.
British Gas has a new system that lets you control your home’s heating with a phone app called Hive. They reckon this could save you £150 per year, provided you turn your heating off when your on holiday, or asleep, or at work, or whatever.
That’s pretty boring, but it sounds a bit better if you think that you can turn the heating on when it’s cold before you even get out of bed.
However, Hive costs £199 for the smart thermostat and installation.
You don’t even need a smartphone for the app. You can control Hive via text and via the Hive website, and it launches next month.
So there you have it. This is properly futuristic isn’t it, with a British Gas robot turning your heating on/off with the help of you piddling about on your phone. What do you make of it?
WhatsApp has been hugely successful, replacing most people’s need to text for a while now. 300 million users send text to each other, but that’s all about to change as voice messages are about to go live.
This new add-on has been in development for 6 months and won’t put a limit on the length of voice messages sent. Users will be able to record messages by holding down on their screen for as long as they are speaking (a bit like the video function on SnapChat).
“The number of taps matters. People want to send a message and be on their way,” said Jan Koum, the company’s CEO.
Messages will be played automatically through the phone’s earpiece if it is being held to your ear, or through the speakerphone if the device is being held away.
Alas, there’s no chance of making real-time calls as yet (like there is on Skype or Blackberry BBM), but that is surely not too far away if they want to keep up with the competition.
Have you heard of the iPhone game, Send Me To Heaven? If not, it’s an app that, under the pretense of being a ‘sports game’, encourages users to lob their phones as high as they can and, the phone’s sensors record the height of the throw and so you can challenge your mates and all that.
Of course, if you chuck your phone really high and don’t catch it, your handset could invariably end up smashed to pieces.
As such, Apple’s App Store have banned the game for “encouraging behaviour that could result in damage to the user’s device”, although, it is still available on the Google Play store. Seems Apple don’t trust their users to be able to catch, eh?
Users who download the app, obviously, have to agree to a disclaimer confirming that they are playing the game at ‘entirely their own risk’, so if you did end up breaking your phone, it’s your own stupid fault.
Amusingly, on the app itself, suggested tactics include a drunken indifference to your phone’s wellbeing.
Do prawns make you puke? Do you go into anaphylactic shock at the mere sight of a cashew? Well, scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign are developing a handheld biosensor that could turn your iPhone into a device able to test for food allergies.
The cradle device and app can transform a smartphone into a sensor that can carry out complicated tests that would otherwise need to take place in lab. For example, if you’re allergic to nuts but are offered an unidentified biscuit, you would put a sample into a plastic vial and run it through the cradles’ biosensor. Then the phone would be able to tell you whether you’d be OK to eat it – or whether you were going to be on the floor clutching your throat within minutes.
As well as food allergies, the technology could be used to test for other types of illness. The sensor rules out the need for full blood tests and long waits for results. All that’s needed is a fingerprint of blood, mixed with fluid, and the biosensor can be used by doctors to quickly diagnose disease on the spot. It could also be used by environmentalists to measure contamination.
Another food allergen sensor – called the iTube – was developed at UCLA in 2012 but preparing the test took 20 minutes. With this one you just shake that vial and find out whether that cookie will kill you. Easy!
It seems that the human race is resigned to having its eyeballs glued to a smartphone forever, so it makes sense that you should use it to pay for stuff, too.
A new app called Zapp has been approved by some of Britain’s leading banks, which means you can use your phone to pay for all your everyday purchases. It’s designed to work with current banking apps and each purchase uses a unique code, which is sent to your phone when you’re at the till. Then you just tap a ‘pay now’ tab on your phone and you’re done. It’s like Pingit, the Barclays’ app – but on a bigger scale.
Zapp is supposed to be safer than a debit card as the vendor won’t have access to sensitive information like expiry dates and your card number. The codes, which are generated by the store, expire after three minutes, so even if you get your phone nicked, nobody is going know your bank details. (unless they rob you within three minutes, of course).
Before it can go ahead early next year, however, there are a few logistics to get out of the way, like the fact that every business in the UK is going to have to sign up to the Zapp scheme for it to be successful. And the technology will have to be completely secure if people are going to feel confident enough to use it.
Also, we may then have to contend with wankers in Mumford hats and half mast trousers who say: ‘Oh, I didn’t have my card with me, so I Zapped it.’ But this is the price you pay for progress.
The new Spongebob SquarePants game for iPhone and iPad will be utilising in-game purchases, which means that it’ll cost you £69.99 to get the whole gaming experience.
The game itself says: “Additional cool stuff can be purchased in Spongebob Moves In! It’ll be charged to your iTunes account. You can adjust your device setting to lock the ability to make In-App purchases!”
There’s a disclaimer that your children will willfully ignore.
Of course, after a number of surprisingly huge bills hitting the press recently, this is a risky move from the game developers.
IAP charges are tremendously unpopular with many people. The recent Simpsons game had a dizzying amount of in-game purchases.
The Office of Fair Trading are launching an investigation into IAP charges, so will Spongebob be the last high profile game to use them or will this become the new model for video games?
NatWest have been getting yet more complaints from customers saying that the app wasn’t working. In response, they tweeted that “due to the overwhelming popularity of our app, we have experienced issues, which hopefully will be fixed soon”.
They later said: “Sorry if you had trouble getting into Mobile Banking. Our service is now running as normal, thanks for your patience.”
“We’ve had huge demand for our app this morning, which led to some customers experiencing the app running slowly for half an hour. We apologise for the inconvenience caused,” a spokesman said.
RBS customers have also been having problems with their banking technology too, which is the latest in the group’s clangers after tech problems so wages going missing and customers not able to access their accounts. The RBS Group have already paid out £175 million in costs and compensation.
Helping banking? There’s a strapline that is sounding rather hollow right now.
“Simple Chrome Extension to Download all Spotify Songs,”says the Downloadify description. “Spotify made a great html5 player for their service…But they forgot their encription [sic]…Hey, I don’t like encription but love spotify, just pay them for their magnificent content and I am sure they fix it soon.”
Google have given the boot to the extension, which isn’t surprising as the Web Store agreement says that Google won’t ”engage in any activity with the Web Store, including the development or publication of Products or other materials, that…infringes on the intellectual property rights of others [or] enables the unauthorized download of streaming content or media.”
Of course, those in the know will be able to still access the app, Web Store or not. Spotify are looking into the matter, but it is bad timing for them as they’re currently in the middle of renewing their licensing agreements with the major record labels.
Spotify are trying to get better financial terms from the labels, but with this oversight, their bargaining chips may be fewer than first expected.
Are you a farty human? Do you get embarrassed how loud you are in the bog while you have company? Well, there’s an app for that which hopes to solve your shame.
The ‘Fake Shower’ app from Akatu plays a recording of a running shower so you can go at it hammer and tongs on the pan. It can’t do anything about the wretched smells you create though.
“Many people turn on the faucet or shower only to prevent [others] from hearing the ‘sounds of nature’ in the bathroom,” says the product description on iTunes. “Water [is] wasted everywhere – clean, treated, expensive and scarce water. With Akatu Fake Shower, [a] couple’s intimacy is saved, and so is water.”