Uberdownloads Blog
Apple’s App Store Adds ‘Editors’ Choice’

The next time you visit Apple’s App Store, you should run into a brand new feature.

On Friday, Apple quietly added a new feature to its App Store: Editors’ Choice.

Editors’ choice is a new promotional feature Apple designed to support certain apps that would be beneficial to users.

It is not exactly clear how Apple chooses which apps to offer, but users will probably agree that app discovery is a welcome discovery to sort through Apple’s more than 600,000 apps.

When users arrive to the Mac App Store or the mobile App Store, they’ll find the new promotional feature splashed across the top of the page.

For their inaugural picks, Apple chose CoBook, an address book application that supplements usability by accessing social networks.

In the mobile App store, the Editors’ Choice was the newly released Facebook Camera application and Extreme Skater.

In addition to Editors’ Choice, Apple is offering users a limited-time chance to download a paid application for free. This week’s featured app is Cut the Rope: Experiments.

Facebook Launches ‘Camera’ Photo App

Facebook Camera—New innovation or Instagram redux?

Facebook launched their new photo-sharing app, Facebook Camera on Thursday.

Facebook hopes the app makes photo sharing more fun and accessible for the social media giant’s 900 million users, specifically smartphone users.

Facebook Camera app lets users take pictures and upload them directly to the app. Users can also crop photos, add colorful filters and upload multiple pictures at once.

However, the Facebook Camera announcement has left a lot of people in the tech industry scratching their heads.

The shocking news comes only weeks after Facebook spent $1 billion to acquire Instagram, a similar (to say the least) photo-sharing app. It also comes just days after its IPO got a lukewarm reception from Wall Street.

So far, the Facebook camera app gets generally good marks from early reviewers, who say it’s much faster than the primary Facebook app and displays photos in a large, crisp fashion.

And while there are definite similarities between the two apps, clearly the audience of each is different.

Ellis Hamburger from The Verge says, “Had the Instagram deal never occurred, Facebook Camera wouldn’t really be much of an Instagram competitor anyway, lacking any mobile-only social circles, hashtagged sharing, tilt-shift, and interesting filters.”

Sony Hand Crank Charges USB Devices

If you’ve ever been stuck in the wilderness (or your train commute home) without a place to charge your phone, this is for you.

Sony’s CycleEnergy USB charger has a built-in hand crank that can generate power for your USB devices.

The CycleEnergy features a dual port unit capable of charging 2 USB-equipped devices and a built-in 4,000 mAh battery chargeable via AC power.

According to Sony, the large battery capacity can deliver enough power to charge a smartphone about 2 times.

As for hand-crank power, it takes about 3 minutes of cranking for a 1 minute call and 5 minutes of cranking for 1 minute of Web surfing.

The CycleEnergy USB charge is due in Japan on June 20 for 8,000 yen (approximately $100).

Facebook Shares Jump to $42.50

Despite the half-hour delay in trading, Facebook’s IPO kicked trading off with a bang Friday morning.

Facebook announcd it share price at $38 yesterday afternoon, and in early trading the social network’s stock has jumped 12% to $42.50.

Facebook share have even hit a high of $43.20. Faithful users of another social media giant, Twitter, predict that Facebook will close the trading day at $54 a share.

With the $38 per share opening, Facebook was able to raise a whopping $16 billion—also making it the largest Internet IPO of all time. Facebook has sold 421.2 million shares, putting it’s valuation at $104.1 billion.

Trading in social media industry seemed to come to a grinding halt with the introduction of Facebook to the market.

Zynga, the social gaming company that enjoys a healthy symbiotic relationship with Facebook, saw it’s stock fall 13%, or $1.10 a share, bringing it to an all-time low of $7.17 a share.

LinkedIn is also down 2.2% and Groupon has fallen nearly 6% as well.

Facebook To Launch New App Center

How do you discover new apps? Well, Facebook is hoping to change the answer to that question.

Facebook is launching their own, new App Center, touting it as a “a place to find social web, desktop, and mobile apps”—and not just Facebook apps.

Facebook’s App Center will bring Facebook’s 900 million users all the best in iOS apps, Android apps, web apps, mobile web apps, and even desktop apps. Both free and paid apps will be available.

With the App Center, Facebook hopes to solve the app discovery problem, and base your decisions on what you and your friends enjoy.

Not only will Facebook’s App Center be personalized to your stated preferences and profile, it will also feature an iTunes App Store-like focus on quality. Each app will have star ratings gathered from users.

Facebook will also be collecting data on how often users come back to the app and how long they use the app.

All of these scores will be combined to determine an app’s overall quality. App developers will also be able to view these stats, and can tweak and perfect their apps based on this data.

While this move may confuse some, Facebook insists it is not competing directly with Apple or Google. The App Center will send traffic to both the iOS and Android platforms.

For interested developers, you can read more at the Facebook Developers Blog.

Angry Birds Hits 1 Billion Downloads

It looks like our feathered friends have reached an important milestone.

Rovio, the developers of the wildly popular Angry Birds game series, announced today that over one billion Angry Birds games have been downloaded.

That’s a lot of fowl-flinging, pig-slaying action!

The one billion number counts downloads from all of the Angry Birds games, including the original Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio, and the latest installment, Angry Birds Space.

To date, this is the first game app that has achieved such a milestone.

Additionally, the feat proves that video games do not always have to cater to a hardcore audience to be successful, selling games for low prices can still be profitable with a good product, and that solid gameplay and level design can easily compete with high-end graphics and game engines.

As a thank you to the Angry Birds faithful, Rovio put out a short video which hints at more exciting things to come.