Everyone’s an Editor
Flipboard.com | Free
Flipboard may have launched Hollywood’s new best friend.
(From the pages of the April 9 issue of Variety.)
Originally designed as an app that cleverly packaged Twitter and Facebook posts in an attractive magazine-like format for iPads, Flipboard has introduced a new version that enables people to create their own online magazines others can read.
Through the service, covers can be changed and issues shared via social networks and email.
With 50 million registered Flipboard users, that’s a lot of potential new digital publications about to be created. And in an age obsessed with pop culture, it’s about to provide studios and broadcasters with an overwhelming amount of free advertising for their movies and TV shows, especially given the ability to include videos like trailers and other teasers within a Flipboard-created magazine.
“Flipboard is used every day as a place to catch up on the things you care about,” says company CEO Mike McCue. “But starting now, it’s also a great place to share opinions, save favorite stories, and express your point of view.”
The new magazine-creation service has only just launched, and there are few numbers on just how many entertainment pubs are being created. Examples so far have focused on travel, cooking, cars and architecture, with titles searchable by topic, user or hashtag.
Any way you look at it, it’s pretty much inevitable that the next Entertainment Weekly or Empire is being built on the backs of bloggers or legit publications at this very minute.
Flipboard made the move to enable self-publishing to give it another way to grow its ad-based bottom line. And then there’s this: E-commerce capabilities are integrated for partners like online retailer Etsy, creating new in-app sales opportunities that will be split with Flipboard. It’s a great way for Fandango or MovieTickets.com to start selling movie tickets — especially as they focus more on mobile devices to fi ll theater seats.
Now for the annoying part: Just as it was fi rst available exclusively on Apple devices in 2010, only iPhone and iPad owners can create their own magazines — although an Android version is coming.
Third Time’s the Charm
Roku.com | $100
For cord-cutters, the third generation of Roku’s streaming videobox, rolling out to retailers this month, isn’t going to make them regret their decision.
The new box is rounder, and features a glossier piano black finish. It’s faster than previous models, and updates made to its already intuitive software make it easy to search for movies and TV shows offered on apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Walmart’s Vudu, Amazon Instant and Crackle — much like the way Bing is built into Microsoft ’s Xbox Live on the Xbox 360, with pricing across services listed per title. That capability is key, given Roku offers more than 750 apps.
A new remote includes a built-in headphone jack, while an app turns smartphones into another remote.
At $99, and with a more attractive interface, Apple has yet another reason to reconsider a redesign of its Apple TV, aimed at the company’s core fanbase.
Apple’s App Store | $0.99
Now that your smartphone’s your go-to camera, and Instagram has made us all shutter bugs, Ghost-Bird Software has made even the worst photos worth posting.
While most apps take a fix-it-in-post approach, KitCam offers 15 lenses, 32 filters and 20 frames live to see what you’ll get. Even video can be recorded with a fancy overlay.
Best new feature in the updated sofware is “Night Snap,” an impressive low-light mode that’s desperately needed on most cameras.
As expected, photos are easily uploaded to social media sites, and images can be printed and sent as postcards, a fun option for travelers.
DIALED UP: Mobile Market Share Per Operating System in the U.S.
Devices dominated Dec.-Feb. sales, with a 51.2% share, up from 45.4% during the same quarter last year.
Sales fell slightly for Apple during the same quarter last year, giving it 43.5% of the market (down a bit from 47%). AT&T sells more Apple devices (68%) than any other carrier.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone
Sales grew 52% year-over-year in the Dec.-Feb. quarter, giving Microsoft 4.1% of the market.
Marketshare dipped to 0.7% as sales fell a whopping 81%, just before the Z10 hit stores as the company’s new flagship phone.
Source: Kantar Worldpanel