Jamaica’s female beach volleyballer, Kai Wright, said their fifth place finish at the Norceca Beach Volleyball tour in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on the weekend resulted from their passion and determination and believes she and partner, Danielle Perry, will make it to Rio this summer. Wright noted that Perry lives abroad so regular practice is not possible and tournament like these play an important role in their preparation. However, the main reason they went to the Dominica Republic was to gain experience and practice. “The main purpose was to prepare for the third round of Olympic qualifiers, get selected for the Pan Am Games, get practice, see other teams and get some experience going into the third round. “The tournament was very challenging. Every team played us competitively because we were the underdogs. Nobody expected anything from us, much less to get a big placing, so they came at us really hard. But we played real hard, worked together and achieved fifth place and it shows the passion we have for the sport,” said Wright. “My partner is from Florida so we don’t get to practice together much, but she is very passionate, she is very determined, she goes hard and plays really hard, she is very motivating, so I have a tremendous partner. Over the weekend we learnt a lot about each other playing wise and we are just working as a team,” she told The Gleaner. She thinks they are strong enough to seriously compete for a spot in the Rio Olympics when they travel to the Casova Women’s Beach Volleyball Olympic third round qualifiers in El Salvador next week. “The more we go and represent and play the more the results are coming, it means our performance is getting better every time and that is what we aim to achieve,” she surmised. “We are very prepared, we have camp where the overseas players come down and we train every day, two times for the day. Hopefully we’ll go to the third round and be ready mentally and physically and I am very confident we can reach the Olympics,” said Wright. “We have one week before we leave for the third round and we’re looking to qualify and put Jamaica on top. We want to pave the way for the younger volleyball players, so we will work hard, play hard and qualify for the Olympics,” she promised. VOLLEYBALL:
Particle, the Justin Timberlake-funded microapp development shop, is dedicated to creating “massively small” products that provide simple, creative solutions to real problems.When we first reviewed their Robo.to application, we weren’t sure whether to be confused or delighted – but we knew there was more to the app than met the eye. Not long ago, we had a telephone chat with Particle CEO Rey Flemings; he revealed that Robo.to is to become the channel-surfer of the real-time web. He also told us what Particle is rolling out next. Read on for insights on the microapp universe – including monetization – and a few surprises, as well.On Watching the StatusphereRobo.to is an app that allows users to create soundless, 4-second video clips. These can be used as video avatars, sent as social-web calling cards, attached to all manner of links or geographical data, or simply updated with a line of text as one would update any other status-based message service. Of course, the videos and text can be automatically forwarded to the usual lineup of social networks.What the newly launched TV mode allows for is topic-based surfing of all Robo.to content.“It allows you to watch hashtags,” Flemings explained. “As bits of content bubble up, you can follow that along with the video posts. Users go into TV mode through search or by clicking on a topic. People tend to lost about half an hour when trying this out, because it’s fascinating to watch what people are doing.”For example, here’s what it might look like to watch the hashtag #squee on Robo.to’s TV mode:Flemings did say that the clips will remain soundless. “One of the things we’re trying to do is making it impossible to create bad content. Without parameters, people make all kinds of stuff… What we are doing on the audio front is to create more environmental sound – themeing, music, designing an experience.”On Being Massively Small“Our mission,” said Flemings, “is to reengage with the persistent snags of day-to-day Web use. We approach fairly contained, verticalized problems, apply a creative approach, and launch a massively small, feature-ful product to solve it.”So, what problems are the Particle apps designed to solve?Crusher addresses the problem of how to have a cool party. Pop is a tool for cool-hunting. Robo.to, which began as Smirk, attempts to solve the issue of the static user avatar.And there’s a new app in the works: Uooo. The name, said Flemings, “is based on the sound you make when you see something you ought to be capturing.” Like Robo.to, Uooo will present short-form video for the social web. Unlike Robo.to, Uooo will encourage users to point their cameras at the world around them rather than simply recording themselves. It will launch initially as a Robo.to feature.Particle is trying to perfect the most concise expressions of the social web, a concept that’s been ragingly popular ever since Twitter made tiny sexy and bloated networks began hemorrhaging users. The apps are small and lightweight enough for mobile browsers. The designs are compact. Even the product names are tiny and – dare we say it? – intentionally cute. But can these single-function, “massively small” products generate the massively large user base to generate revenue, and how do Flemings et al. intend to capitalize on their microapp suite?On Finding Users and Making MoneyBack at Robo.to’s launch, we wrote:Then there are the apps that, while nifty, don’t have the power to become a continent or an island because they can’t consistently draw users back. They become digital jetsam, and adoption declines after initial rounds of publicity are over.We’re not damning Robo.to to this particular fate, but we want to know: Why will we return to Robo.to and continue to upload content? What will remind us? Is returning even necessary? Has the Particle team succeeded in creating an app so tiny it’s virtually invisible?And without consistent user traffic prompted by that sticky, infectious property the best new apps have (hel-lo, Twitter!), how will Particle have the leverage to generate revenue?In the weeks between Robo.to’s rather quiet launch and our phone conversation with Flemings, we were told that the app’s user base had doubled and hundreds of video clips were being uploaded each hour.What Flemings could not share was specifics on exactly how many users the site has or how his team plans to monetize the app suite.“Robo.to is a new product,” he said. “It is a social serivce, the key focus is providing utulity and benefit and growing a community of users. Particle has products with much nearer term revenue propositions… Social products unlock their revenue potential at scale. There are certainly very strong ideas, but we’re not publicly talking about those.”Flemings’ purposely vague response left us disconcerted. We’ve been promised “revolutionary” approaches to social media monetization in the past, only to be confronted with freemium models, white-labeled apps, and endless streams of ads, none of which strike us as remotely innovative. Whatever these “strong ideas” happen to be, and however many users Particle needs to acheive their revenue-generating critical mass, we hope the results leave both users and Mr. Timberlake satisfied. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Microapp#start jolie odell Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts
Magnatune, a small and eclectic online record label, just releasedits first iPhone app. As far as we know, this is the first time that a record label has released an iPhone app that allows its users to play every song of every artist on its label for free and as often as they want. The only restriction on the app is that every song is followed by a short announcement with the name of the artist and title of the song.Magnatune Magnatune has always done things differently. It was one of the first online music services to allow its customers to choose how much they wanted to pay for an album. From its inception, the service never featured DRM’ed music and always offered its albums in alternative formats like WAV, OGG, FLAC and AAC. On its website, Magnatune offers a commercial-free streaming plan starting at $5/month (users can choose to pay more) and a download membership that starts at $10 a month.Sadly, the first version of the iPhone app doesn’t support these membership options, but according to Magnatune’s announcement, the next version will allow paying members to stream announcement-free music. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement frederic lardinois Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#mobile#news#web Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces FeaturesThe app itself is pretty straightforward. You can browse Magnatune’s catalog by artist, album and genre. One neat feature of the app is that it remembers where you left off when you turn the app off – or when you get a call – and prompts you to return to that song when you start the app again.ShoppingThe Magnatune store allows users to buy songs right from their phones. Most of Magnatune’s artists are featured in the iTunes store, and the app simply takes users to the iTunes app to buy the song. This, though, also means that potential buyers can’t choose how much they want to pay for an album.Record Labels on the iPhoneAnother label that has also released an iPhone app recently is Ghostly International. This app (iTunes link) features only a selection of Ghostly’s catalog, however.We have talked a lot about how bands and artists have started to look at iPhone apps as replacements of traditional albums. Hopefully, more music labels will now also follow Magnatune’s lead and release their own apps. With built-in purchasing and music discovery, this is a logical extension of the app-as-album trend – but then, the major music labels aren’t exactly known for being logical.
What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Apple#iCloud#iOS 7 If you have been interested in getting a feel for the upcoming release of iOS 7, but haven’t wanted to run a beta release of the mobile operating system on your Apple device, there’s now a pain-free way to get a taste of the iOS to come.Apple’s iCloud, the browser-based cloud service that provides Apple ID account holders tools to supplement their mobile experience, has a new beta site that displays some of the new design elements of iOS 7.Find My iPhone in iCloud BetaGone is the dark-grey linen background with shadowed icons that shouted skeuomorphism, and in its place is a much flatter, cleaner interface that leans towards a lighter end of the spectrum.Six of the available apps in the beta iCloud site also show the iOS 7 look-and-feel (the three beta iWorks apps—Pages, Numbers and Keynote—are still mired in the current interface.Numbers and rest of iWork apps are still grounded in past.Poking around the apps, I found the overall design to be appealing. The Mail app was reflective of the changes throughout all of the updates apps: extremely clean lines, light design elements, and an emphasis on the text through the use of the sharp-looking Helvetica Neue font.The Calendar app was especially nice: entering appointments is not rocket science for other calendars, but it was far more painless using the iCloud Calendar app.Calendar for iCloud BetaOne thing that kind of stuck out for me as I walked around the apps was the distinct reminder of another interface I’ve seen lately: Office 365. The color scheme on the Calendar app seemed the most overt reminder of the Office apps. This is not necessary a bad thing, but it’s definitely a resemblance, though slight.If this is indeed the way ahead for iOS 7, then it’s a change to which I’m going to be looking forward. But I can’t help wondering how much effort it will take other app developers to get their apps’ look and feel to come close to this design. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology brian proffitt Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts