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Mailbox’s First App, Orchestra To-Do, Is Shutting Down

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Before being acquired by Dropbox for $100 million, before its app became one of the buzzier startups of 2013, the team at Mailbox had been known for Orchestra, a simple to-do list app with tasks you could assign to others, or pull in via email. Now that app is shutting down, and will be removed from the App Store on September 6th, the company says.

The move to shut down the app shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to its users. In order to build the email management application Mailbox, development efforts on Orchestra had stopped. In fact, the company was a case study in what a well-executed pivot should look like – it realized early on that the product wasn’t breaking out to become a mainstream hit, so the team took their initial learnings and applied them to a new area. Orchestra, the App Store’s 2011 Productivity App of the Year, inspired the team to treat emails basically like to-do’s when they moved on to building what then became Mailbox.

Now at Dropbox, the work on Mailbox continues, the company explains in an announcement about the app’s impending closure, but they need to now discontinue the app and move on.

Users are advised to copy the tasks they have within Orchestra elsewhere before it shuts down, noting that while the app will still launch on your phone if installed after September 6, all cloud services, including sync, task delegation, and access to the web app and customer support, will become unavailable. These, of course, are some of the main reasons why users chose Orchestra in the first place, so there’s little need to keep the app once it’s disconnected.

Though Orchestra was certainly a well-built to-do list application, there’s certainly no lack of task list managers in the iOS App Store ready to step up and takes its place – including some of my personal favorites like AnyDO, FetchNotes, Wunderlist, Evernote, Clear and more.

The full announcement is below:

The next chapter for Orchestra

Back in September 2012 we announced that we were pausing development on Orchestra To-do to build Mailbox. Since launching Mailbox in February we’ve been thrilled and overwhelmed by the reception. By all accounts, Mailbox has been a success so far, and we continue to develop it in earnest.

To help us focus, we’ll be discontinuing Orchestra To-do and removing the app from the App Store on September 6. If you’re still using Orchestra we recommend you copy any tasks that remain on the app and save them elsewhere. After September 6 the app will still launch, but all cloud services including sync, task delegation, access to the web app and customer support will be unavailable.

There is much about Orchestra that we love, and it’s hard for us to say goodbye to it. You may feel the same way. But we believe Mailbox offers a simpler and more direct approach to our mission of solving the problem of using email as a to-do list, and it’s important that we devote all our resources to Mailbox going forward.

As always, we’re grateful to have you with us as we journey to transform how people work together. And if you haven’t yet tried Mailbox, you can grab a copy here.

Thanks so much,
Gentry and the Mailbox team

YouTube-rival Dailymotion launches a standalone video-recording app to encourage user-generated content

video1 520x245 YouTube rival Dailymotion launches a standalone video recording app to encourage user generated content

French video-sharing service Dailymotion has launched a video-camera app for iPhone users, as it looks to encourage more users to upload their own content.

The Paris-based company claims to be the second biggest video-sharing service on the Web behind – you guessed it – YouTube. Following the collapse of a much-rumored Yahoo acquisition earlier this year, France Telecom’s CEO promised to invest 30-50m in Dailymotion, a company owned by France Telecom’s subsidiary Orange.

Whether a dedicated recording app was always on the cards isn’t clear, but it’s an interesting move from the company and brings it into line with YouTube which also has a Capture app.

How it works

Dailymotion Camera was designed in-house and, given its simplicity, it’s clearly aimed at everyone – even those with a rudimentary grasp of smartphone technology.

It has a record/pause/resume button which does exactly what you’d expect, and when you’re done you click the ‘tick’ button.

Photo 25 07 2013 11 16 10 220x330 YouTube rival Dailymotion launches a standalone video recording app to encourage user generated content

Photo 25 07 2013 11 17 30 220x330 YouTube rival Dailymotion launches a standalone video recording app to encourage user generated content

You can then trim the clip to your desired size, choose a filter (if you want), and then upload. You will of course have to connect your Dailymotion account, while you can also connect your Facebook and Twitter profiles too.

d7 220x391 YouTube rival Dailymotion launches a standalone video recording app to encourage user generated content

d21 220x391 YouTube rival Dailymotion launches a standalone video recording app to encourage user generated content

You can manage multiple video clips recorded separately, which can be ordered into a final deliverable. You can also access videos directly from your camera roll.

“UGC [user-generated content] is an important part of our video library, but many of our 115 million users have not had the skills or tools to document their worlds – preferring to view content than create it,” says Cedric Tournay, CEO of Dailymotion.

“We want to encourage this to change by providing a free, simple tool for any user – UGC and professional – to easily produce and upload top quality video content.”

Dailymotion Camera is available to download for free now, and this is in addition to the existing app for viewing videos. An Android version is in the pipeline, we’re told, but no definitive date has been set for that.

Dailymotion Camera | App Store

Disclosure: This article contains an affiliate link. While we only ever write about products we think deserve to be on the pages of our site, The Next Web may earn a small commission if you click through and buy the product in question. For more information, please see our Terms of Service

Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock

Momondo’s city guides for iPad let you find things to do based on your mood

Travel 520x245 Momondos city guides for iPad let you find things to do based on your mood

Travel metasearch engine Momondo has launched a new standalone iPad app for travelers, making it easy to find things to do based on so-called ‘moods’.

How it works

Currently available for Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, New York, Paris and Rome – with more cities en route – Momondo Places features seven individual downloadable guides, which means this can be used offline.

Photo 20 01 2014 14 58 43 730x547 Momondos city guides for iPad let you find things to do based on your mood

Each city defaults to ‘everything’, which covers more than 200 things-to-do for each city. You can flip the guide like a book, skip to specific chapters or search manually.

Photo 20 01 2014 15 00 18 730x547 Momondos city guides for iPad let you find things to do based on your mood

But the centrepiece of Momondo Places are the six moods it lets you search by.

Now, I’d be more inclined to call these category-filters than moods per se – it’s not ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘energetic’ etc. It’s ‘Social’, ‘Fancy’, ‘Cultural’, ‘Local’, ‘Family’ and ‘Romantic’, but nonetheless it’s a super-easy way of honing in on the kinds of things you’re looking for.

Photo 20 01 2014 15 00 44 730x547 Momondos city guides for iPad let you find things to do based on your mood

For example, when you apply the ‘Family’ mood, the guide automatically only includes the activities and places it things are suited to this. And you can see everything plotted out on a map too, letting you tap on each site to see more details.

Photo 20 01 2014 15 01 43 730x547 Momondos city guides for iPad let you find things to do based on your mood

Yes, Momondo Places is ultimately an extra marketing arm for the company’s existing flight search engine service, but it’s a nicely designed, useful app that should go down well with travelers. And it’s free, too.

That said, Momondo will need to ramp up the available number of cities, something that is currently in the works, and also make this available for iPhones and Android devices too.

Momondo Places | App Store

Stick around: Loopcam brings giant face stickers to its animated GIF app

Emoticon 520x245 Stick around: Loopcam brings giant face stickers to its animated GIF app

Earlier this year, Japan-based mobile messaging company Line raised more than a few eyebrows when it revealed that it made $17 million from selling stickers during the first quarter of 2013 alone. The likes of Path, Facebook and Viber use stickers too.

Now, stickers, if you didn’t already know, are large-scale emoticons which are used primarily during instant messaging (IM) chats. But as with anything in life, the only limitations are those imposed by your own imagination.

With that in mind, we introduce you to Loopcam’s latest update, as it looks to capitalize on the growing popularity of stickers around the world.

Loopcam, in a nutshell, is an iOS app that lets users create and share animated GIFs. With version 2.3 that’s hitting the App Store today, however, you can now superimpose stickers across a visage using automatic face-detection technology.

a11 730x484 Stick around: Loopcam brings giant face stickers to its animated GIF app

So now, in addition to capturing a series of frames stopmotion-style to create a shareable animation, you can make it look truly silly to boot.

“Being in the center of a highly competitive space drives us to push the boundaries with every step we take,” explains Loopcam CEO Tor Rauden K llstigen. “Learning from the widespread popularity of selfies, our engineers developed an entirely new way to express feelings.”

Loopcam 2.3 is live now.

Loopcam | App Store

Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock

Algoriddim launches djay 2, a complete overhaul to its praised DJing app for iOS

djay iPad Photo 1 520x245 Algoriddim launches djay 2, a complete overhaul to its praised DJing app for iOS

Following (but not replacing) the popular iOS app djay, creator Algoriddim has announced the launch of djay 2, a heavily upgraded DJing app that brings new polish and enhancements to its predecessor.

djay earned itself praise amongst both professionals and novices, and according to Algoriddim, djay 2 almost didn’t happen because its creators didn’t want to disrupt this balance.

The app brings in tons of new features, including a refreshed interface, a new music library, a built-in sampler, enhanced waveforms, improved performance mode and audio analysis, and improved external hardware support.

For its first week in the app store, djay 2 is available on iPad for $4.99 and iPhone for $0.99. After a week, the prices will bump up to $9.99 and $1.99 respectively. Check it out via the link below:

djay 2 for iPhone | iPad

Disclosure: This article contains an affiliate link. While we only ever write about products we think deserve to be on the pages of our site, The Next Web may earn a small commission if you click through and buy the product in question. For more information, please see our Terms of Service

BillGuard launches for iPhone to combat the ‘$14bn’ lost by credit card users to hidden-fees and errors

CreditCards 520x245 BillGuard launches for iPhone to combat the $14bn lost by credit card users to hidden fees and errors

Launched in the US back in April 2010, BillGuard sells itself as the world’s first ‘people-powered antivirus system for bills’.

In a nutshell, BillGuard’s predictive algorithms alert users of unexpected charges such as hidden fees, billing errors, scams and fraud on credit card bills. It also issues alerts when a similar dubious charge has been flagged by other users, or receives a complaint elsewhere on the Web. As such, the ‘BillGuard brain’ becomes more accurate over time.

However, BillGuard has thus far been a Web-based entity – until today, that is.

The iPhone app was actually soft-launched back in March as a beta test to garner feedback, but was subsequently pulled from the App Store a few weeks ago when the beta-phase came to a close. From today though, the BillGuard app is live for anyone in the US.

How it works

When you first launch the app you’ll be prompted to log-in, or set up an account if you don’t already have one. You’ll also need to include a 4-digit passcode.

a14 220x330 BillGuard launches for iPhone to combat the $14bn lost by credit card users to hidden fees and errors

b12 220x330 BillGuard launches for iPhone to combat the $14bn lost by credit card users to hidden fees and errors

Next, you’ll need to choose which cards and accounts you want to integrate if you’re setting things up for the first time.

Bear in mind this is a US-only service, and works with the likes of Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and so on. Though you can also add your American Express, PayPal and Amazon cards too. It supports 5,000 different accounts in total.

c13 220x330 BillGuard launches for iPhone to combat the $14bn lost by credit card users to hidden fees and errors

d11 220x330 BillGuard launches for iPhone to combat the $14bn lost by credit card users to hidden fees and errors

You can see a basic at-a-glance overview of all your connected cards, including balances and total amount spent.

edashboard 220x390 BillGuard launches for iPhone to combat the $14bn lost by credit card users to hidden fees and errors

f3 Sidebar With Multiple Cards 220x390 BillGuard launches for iPhone to combat the $14bn lost by credit card users to hidden fees and errors

Push notifications tell you whenever a transaction is made on one of your accounts, and you can dig deeper to see exactly what it was and, indeed, whether it’s kosher.

The ‘smart inbox’ lets you swipe through charges in an email-style interface, while you can also contact merchants directly through the app to resolve disputes.

g1 App Notification 220x390 BillGuard launches for iPhone to combat the $14bn lost by credit card users to hidden fees and errors

h7 SmartSwipe Feature 220x390 BillGuard launches for iPhone to combat the $14bn lost by credit card users to hidden fees and errors

BillGuard says it’s looking to combat the billions of dollars lost by American cardholders each year to so-called grey charges – basically deceptive or otherwise unexpected charges.

Indeed, to coincide with today’s launch, BillGuard is also releasing an industry report on grey charges, claiming that American cardholders were hit with $14.3 billion in deceptive or unexpected charges in 2012. The most prominent type of grey charge is “free-to-paid”, for example when a consumer takes receipt of goods for a free trial period, but then is automatically charged a fee if they don’t return it within a specified timeframe.

BillGuard is a pretty ingenious idea for sure, insofar as users essentially help each other by flagging rogue charges, which help others recognize anything awry with their own accounts. When a charge is repeatedly disputed across the board, it is prioritized for all cardholders who can review it themselves.

“We have built the largest crowdsourced transaction monitoring community in the world,” says BillGuard co-founder and CTO Raphael Ouzan.

“As consumers ourselves, we realized early on that bill checking for most people is a long arduous task that most would prefer to avoid,” he continues. “So we set out to develop a tool that would make bill checking fast, fun and exceptionally effective, with a little help from some very sophisticated algorithms and millions of fellow cardholders.”

We’re told that BillGuard has eked out more than $50m in grey charges so far and, as you’d expect, they’re keen to get everyone on board. “Our data shows that if every American cardholder used the BillGuard iPhone app, the total annual savings in grey charges could top $7 billion,” adds Ouzan.

BillGuard actually added support for Apple’s Passbook application last year, before it even had an iOS app. So this has been a long-time coming.

Pricing

While BillGuard does have a free tier, the premium price for the full service costs $45/year, or $4.99/month, which gives access to more than two cards. Though, as part of the launch campaign, they’re offering premium access for a one-time fee of $9.99 until the end of August.

BillGuard for iOS is available to download now. And we’re told an Android version is currently in the works, with an expected launch some time in Q4.

BillGuard | App Store

Disclosure: This article contains an affiliate link. While we only ever write about products we think deserve to be on the pages of our site, The Next Web may earn a small commission if you click through and buy the product in question. For more information, please see our Terms of Service

Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock

The UK’s Channel 4 updates its 4OD app on Android and iOS with downloads for offline playback

4oD 520x245 The UKs Channel 4 updates its 4OD app on Android and iOS with downloads for offline playback

If you’re a fan of Channel 4 in the UK and Ireland, you’ll like the latest update to 4OD.

Both the iOS and Android version of the catch-up TV service now lets users download content to watch on their device up to 30 days after the initial broadcast, with a further seven days offered to watch the content.

This brings the service in line with BBC iPlayer which introduced similar functionality last year, though for now that remains restricted to iOS.

The upshot of all this, as you may have guessed, is that you’ll be able to download shows from Channel 4 and watch anywhere – including when you go abroad on holiday, or any Internet blackspot.

You’ll now see a little download icon next to each programme, but it’s worth noting that you’ll only be able to download a show over WiFi.

4odiphone The UKs Channel 4 updates its 4OD app on Android and iOS with downloads for offline playback

An additional update has been introduced for the iOS version in the form of Collections, which are essentially editorial compilations linking programmes together by theme or subject matter.

4odipad The UKs Channel 4 updates its 4OD app on Android and iOS with downloads for offline playback

Channel 4 only launched the native Android app back in February this year, so it’s nice to see it getting the 30-day download window at the same time as its iOS counterpart, even if it has to wait for the additional Collections feature.

The refreshed apps are available to download now.

4OD – Google Play | App Store

Disclosure: This article contains an affiliate link. While we only ever write about products we think deserve to be on the pages of our site, The Next Web may earn a small commission if you click through and buy the product in question. For more information, please see our Terms of Servic

Tech education startup Treehouse branches out to the iPad with a new app

treehouse 520x245 Tech education startup Treehouse branches out to the iPad with a new app

After embracing gamification, hitting $3.6 million in revenues and raising $7 million, technology education startup Treehouse has launched its first iPad app.

Treehouse offers lessons across a range of subjects, from HTML, JavaScript and Ruby to UX design and businesses management. In general, these lessons follow a simple pattern: you watch videos, answer questions, and then – if it’s a programming course – you’ll write and edit code within the app.

Coding on the iPad isn’t new nor has it proved a productive task, and that’s why Treehouse never actually tasks you to build an entire site from scratch using the app. Instead, Treehouse simply helps you get your feet wet by letting you play with code throughout your lessons.

THiPad 01 520x379 Tech education startup Treehouse branches out to the iPad with a new app

THiPad 02 520x379 Tech education startup Treehouse branches out to the iPad with a new app

THiPad 03 520x379 Tech education startup Treehouse branches out to the iPad with a new app

THiPad 04 520x379 Tech education startup Treehouse branches out to the iPad with a new app

THiPad 05 520x379 Tech education startup Treehouse branches out to the iPad with a new app

The app is free and largely works like the site in tablet-optimized form, but it requires a Treehouse membership (so, it’s not really free), and that’ll set you back $25 to $45 per month. This price is worth it if you’re serious about learning to code and want to explore different ways of doing so, but if you’re only dabbling, you’ll probably find it prohibitive.

Update: While Treehouse offers Android lessons, Apple, annoyingly, did not allow them to be included in the app :

We teach Android at Treehouse as well, but Apple has refused to let us release the app while including Android content. At the time of review several other applications in the App Store included Android content, but in our case we were told it was against App Store guidelines to have Android content in our app.

In any event, you can try the service here, and download the new app via the link below.

Treehouse for iPad

Image credit: Thinkstock

Disclosure: This article contains an affiliate link. While we only ever write about products we think deserve to be on the pages of our site, The Next Web may earn a small commission if you click through and buy the product in question. For more information, please see our Terms of Service

Photo-editing app Hipstamatic Oggl lands on Windows Phone 8 with direct sharing to Instagram

2013 05 07 15.14.46 645x250 520x245 Photo editing app Hipstamatic Oggl lands on Windows Phone 8 with direct sharing to Instagram

Hipstamatic Oggl is out now for Windows Phone 8, providing somewhat of a stop-gap for handset owners still craving for an official Instagram app.

The photo-sharing service has been available for iOS devices for a couple of months now and expands upon the original Hipstamatic app with a refreshed interface, social features and vintage filters.

manual thumb 3ED7A5B8 220x366 Photo editing app Hipstamatic Oggl lands on Windows Phone 8 with direct sharing to Instagram

The Windows Phone 8 version, announced in May alongside the Lumia 925 is much the same, enabling users to mix and match various analog-inspired lenses and films. Square crop photos are a requirement here, again taking after its hugely successful rival Instagram.

There’s no official Instagram app for Windows Phone 8 at the moment, but Hipstamatic does offer users the ability to post images directly to Facebook’s wildly popular photo-sharing service. That’s a huge step forward for Microsoft’s mobile platform and should enable users to side-step third-party clients such as Instance.

Hipstamatic is also offering a PRO version of its new Oggl app for Nokia Lumia 1020 owners. It’s almost identical to the entry-level version, but packs in some impressive new manual controls including exposure, white, balance, IOS and shutter speed adjustments. Users also have the ability to reframe shots thanks to the handset’s monstrous 41-megapixel sensor, as well fix framing problems with an auto-leveling feature.

fef817a6 2a42 40a7 be1f 6d9d931917d0 220x366 Photo editing app Hipstamatic Oggl lands on Windows Phone 8 with direct sharing to Instagram

Video aside, these features actually push Hipstamatic Oggl far beyond Instagram’s native apps for iOS and Android. By blending both a professional camera interface and stylish photo-editing options, this could truly be the silver bullet for Windows Phone 8 users. Even for those who are disinterested in the Lumia 1020, it’s still a solid replacement for Instagram – albeit without the huge community.

Both the standard and pro versions of Hipstamatic Oggl are free. They come with 5 preset lenses and films, with additional filter packs requiring a premium subscription. Anyone that creates an account before August 9, however, will have access to the entire library over the next 60 days. Once that’s over, it costs $2.99 for three months or $9.99 for the year.

Is it Instagram? No. Hipstamatic Oggl is a robust alternative though which Windows Phone 8 users should check out without question. Pick it up in the Windows Phone store now.

Hipstamatic Oggl | Windows Phone 8
Hipstamatic Oggl PRO | Windows Phone 8 (Nokia Lumia 1020 exclusive)

Does anyone still use Twitter #Music? Why the Web and iOS app are quickly fading into obscurity

162642967 520x245 Does anyone still use Twitter #Music? Why the Web and iOS app are quickly fading into obscurity

It’s been a little over three months since Twitter #Music was launched on the Web and iOS. The release signalled Twitter’s desire to broaden its influence on the Web. To be more. To leverage the ever-increasing number of tweets to disrupt the status-quo.

Yet for all its hype, Twitter #Music has been a disappointment. The mobile app sits patiently in a folder on my iPhone, gathering virtual dust and a sense of increasing irrelevancy. I have no desire to open it. Perhaps that’ll change with a future update, but for now it remains rather useless.

It’s not just me either. I’ve asked friends and family what their go-to app is for listening to music on the move. Spotify, Rdio and the default iOS Music app rank high. Twitter #Music does not.

Admittedly, that’s a small group of people to poll. But a quick inspection of the top free music apps in the App Store tells a similar story. Alongside the apps I just mentioned are Deezer, Soundcloud and Shazam, as well as a bunch of emerging services such as Bloom.fm filling out the top 20.

Twitter #Music isn’t featured. Nor is it in the top 50. Top 100? Nope. Top 200? Nope. At the time of writing, the app sits ranked 285. Ouch.

So why is no-one using it?

The purpose of the Twitter #Music app is three-fold; help listeners discover new music; act as an overlay for playing said music; incentivize the music industry – particularly artists and labels – to continue engaging with their fans on Twitter.

To help users find a bunch of brilliant new records, the app offers five charts with rather ambiguous names such as ‘Emerging’, ‘Unearthed’ and ‘Hunted’. They all sound inviting, but I couldn’t tell you what the difference is between any of the three.

twittermusic1 Does anyone still use Twitter #Music? Why the Web and iOS app are quickly fading into obscurity

Tapping one reveals a very compact grid filled with tiny square display pictures. Each of them represents an artist and they’re ranked in accordance with their popularity. The interface is pretty terrible though and at times completely bewildering. The various images are the size of my fingernail and reveal next to nothing about the artist or the sort of music they play. Twitter has also chosen to show their Twitter handle by default – rather than the artist’s name – which only adds to the confusion.

Selecting a specific artist then reveals a jarring profile page that tries to blend both their Twitter account and more of these tiny cuboid images. It’s the same story in the app’s ‘Suggested’ and ‘#NowPlaying’ sections. Everything feels unrefined and lacks consistent aesthetics.

Too many alternatives that are just better

Discovering new music should be a visually stunning and frictionless experience. Soundwave, Bloom.fm and even the ‘Discover’ tab in Spotify do a much better job of this than Twitter #Music by keeping their respective interfaces refreshingly simple and uncluttered. Twitter’s mobile app just feels messy in comparison.

Twitter #Music would also be a novel proposition if it offered its own digital storefront or an on-demand streaming service. But it doesn’t do that either. Tracks are either 30-second previews from iTunes with direct store links – another bid to get music labels and artists on side – or only supported with an active Spotify or Rdio subscription.

twittermusic2 Does anyone still use Twitter #Music? Why the Web and iOS app are quickly fading into obscurity

It begs the question though: why would a Spotify or Rdio subscriber leave their dedicated mobile app for this? There’s no way to create custom playlists, queue tracks or access premium features offered by these more robust and expansive services. The idea, presumably, is to reinforce Twitter #Music’s discovery options by giving users the ability to listen to new tracks in their entirety.

Twitter #Music lacks a defining feature or hook to keep users engaged. It’s an odd blend of ideas that never seem to mesh or offer a significant value proposition to the listener. There’s some potential here though and plenty of time for Twitter to turn it around – but no wonder it’s performing so poorly in the App Store at the moment.

Image Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images

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