MSN apps now available for several platforms including Android

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Microsoft has announced that their family of MSN apps are now available for several new platforms and devices including Android, iOS and Amazon Kindle and Fire devices. The apps were already available for the desktop and for mobile Windows devices, so the reach is quite extensive now. MSN’s apps include MSN News, MSN Weather, MSN Sports, MSN Money, MSN Health & Fitness, and MSN Food & Drink. According to Microsoft, the apps were rebuilt from the ground up this past year for a “mobile-first, cloud-first world.”
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See which apps and games are draining your phone battery and chewing up the most storage

android-appsApps are easily the biggest draw of owning a smartphone, but unfortunately, they can also be what hinders the performance of our devices, too. AVG anonymously collected data from over 1 million smartphone and tablet users to measure just which apps drained battery the fastest and used up the most storage space, and the results are pretty interesting.
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Google drops Google account requirement for Chrome browser app installs

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Google made a change to the Chrome Web Store that makes it a little easier for users of the Chrome browser to install apps from the Web Store. Up until now, installation of apps required a Google account, even free apps. For users who only occasionally use the Chrome browser and don’t make use of other Google services, this could be a hurdle to just testing something out. Google’s change will now let users install free apps without being logged in with a Google account.

The change does not apply to paid apps though. This makes sense since Google needs to collect payment and their ecosystem is setup to do that using a Google account.

For developers, this does mean they will need to factor in the possibility that a user is not logged in to a Google account when using the app.

source: +François Beaufort

Samsung’s U.S. market share grows as LG, Motorola, and HTC all see small dips

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For the month of June, the top smartphone manufacturers in the United States did not see much of a change in United States market share. Apple and Samsung, the two leaders, are the only of the top five manufacturers to see growth. LG, Motorola, and HTC all saw very small changes that went south; however, none of the declines were more than -0.6%. Also, those three companies combined have yet to near Samsung’s 28.6% market share in the United States. On the overall software front, Android still leads iOS by an amount nearing 10%.

Hit the break for details on what mobile applications have the most reach.
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Google announces the end of packaged apps in move to Chrome Apps

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Last year for the fifth anniversary of the Chrome browser, Google announced a “new breed of apps” known as Chrome apps. The new apps function much like a traditional program when launched on a computer, appearing in its own window and capable of being used when offline amongst other features. When launched, Google’s intent was for these Chrome apps to be the next generation of apps replacing the “packaged apps” that they first introduced in 2010. Google has now announced their end of life plans for “packaged apps” including an immediate halt to the ability for developers to submit them to the Chrome Web Store.
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