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Apple Adding More Diverse Emojis

In: Donovan, Gadgets & Tech
apple-emjoi-diversity

This Spring, Apple emojis are getting a little more colorful. The company has been criticized in the past for its lack of diversity. As part of its new operating system, Apple plans on addressing that with new multicultural emojis, ranging in multiple skin tones.

“Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.” – Apple spokeswoman

Naturally, there are already complaints about the new characters. Some are complaining at the lack of redheaded emojis, others think the Asian ones look like they have jaundice, and plenty other criticisms. Oh well, at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Also included in the batch are new flags, different family compositions and wait for it… an Apple Watch one. LOL. Check out below a sampling of the 300+ new emojis coming this Spring.

check out a sampling after the jump

Instagram 2013 Year In Review

In: Donovan, Gadgets & Tech, Random Reads
most-instagrammed-locations-2013

Last year, Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand was the most Instagrammed location. In 2013, it falls all the way to #9. Fret not Thai people, the top slot still remains within the country at Siam Paragon, a shopping mall in Bangkok earning the distinction as Most Instagrammed location of 2013. Random, right?

New to the list this year are Walt Disney World, High Line and Central Park in New York City and the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. Au revoir Eiffel Tower, you’ve been bumped off the list. Coming up just short in second place is Times Square in New York. If it’s any consolation prize to the Big Apple, it came first on the social media’s most Instagrammed cities of the year list.

Check out the rest of the top locations below, along with stats about the most popular picture and holiday of the year.

check out more stats after the jump

twitter-bird

Did you retweet in 2013? If you did, chances are pretty high you shared one of Twitter’s top three retweets of the year. Two of them involve a celebrity death while the other is a birthday shout-out. Not surprisingly, one of the most popular on the micro-blogging site is Lea Michele’s thanks to her fans for their support in the wake of Cory Monteith’s death. Check out the other two below, along with Twitter’s year in review video.

Lea Michele Thanks Fans

check out the other two after the jump

Grindr, the most popular location based gay “dating” app, has just released a new update with several new features aimed at making it a faster and more engaging experience for the seven million-plus users around the globe. The update features a sleek new design (included a slightly different take on the logo), an optimized user interface and many other features that allow users to narrow down their search for Mr. Right (…or Mr. Right now).

“We rewrote the software for the new Grindr with a focus on speed – giving our users the ability to meet other guys in mere minutes. We did that by strengthening the app’s reliability and performance, and by introducing ‘Tribes‘ and other filters to make it even simpler for men to identify themselves and find exactly what they’re looking for,” said Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO of Grindr. “Get ready for a whole new level of user personalization, speed and convenience to the Grindr experience, along with many added capabilities for Grindr Xtra users – all in a new sleek design.”

Do you know how many chat messages were sent on Grindr in the last month? One billion! They also exchanged one billion photos and logged in one billion times in a two month time span. Check out the specifics on the new features below and if you’re a Grindr user yourself, share your thoughts on the latest update in the comments.

Check out all of the new features after the jump…

Can you believe Apple’s App Store has been around for five years? On July 10, 2008, Apple launched their digital distribution system in 62 countries with 500 third-party apps. As of May 2013, the App Store had over 850,000 apps available with downloads surpassing 50 billion. I can’t even imagine life without those numerous apps cluttering my iPhone. With their anniversary promo, I expect to spend a good chunk of today checking out all the free and discounted apps they’re offering for reaching this milestone.

All kinds of apps have been discounted, with some developers offering their paid apps for free for a limited time. According to the App Store’s Twitter account, it’s a week-long celebration. From the action-packed game “Infinity Blade 2” to “Traktor DJ,” an app that lets you scratch and mix like a real disc jockey, there’s something for everyone to enjoy from App Store developers.

For a complete list of apps that have been marked down, check out AppShopper or simply open up the App Store on your iPhone or iPad. Happy searching.

Instagram Takes On Vine With Video Update

In: Donovan, Gadgets & Tech

Clearly, Facebook-owned Instagram viewed Twitter-owned Vine as a huge threat. With its latest update, the popular photo-sharing app is now getting into the video business. While to most people, this move clearly takes aim at Vine, Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom told ABC News that video sharing was always part of the original plan. “But we left video on the shelf,” Systrom says, “All we’re doing today is bringing it back into the product.”

find out how it will differ from Vine after the jump

Just recently, after a public outcry, Apple pulled a dangerous anti-gay app called “Setting Captives Free.” The discriminatory app preys on those struggling with their sexuality in hopes of getting them to sign up for the 60 day course on how to not be gay. The website advertises that:

Our Christ-centered courses are free of charge and help people just like you escape impurity, over-eating, substance abuse, gambling, smoking and more.

I know, you’re already all riled up after only reading that one sentence. Well, you can help!

allout.org launched a campaign to get both Apple and Google to pull these apps, and although Apple responded in just 24 hours, Google has not yet. Google has a great history of doing the right thing in these situation, and although I have no doubt they will respond  as Apple did, we can sure speed up the process.

Find out how you can help after the jump…

Grindr Turns 4 Today

In: Gadgets & Tech, Patrick, Totally GAY!

In celebration of its fourth anniversary, Grindr today announced that they have reached over six million users, adding 2.5 million users in the last twelve months alone. That’s pretty crazy if you think about it… a lot of horny men. The app is available for people that use iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android and BlackBerry and is present in 192 countries around the world. Furthermore, it has been featured on several mainstream TV shows including Glee, Saturday Night Live, The Office, Chelsea Lately, The B- in Apartment 23, and Top Gear.

“Grindr has proven to be an invaluable resource for men across the globe when they’re looking to meet-up,” said Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO of Grindr. “Five years ago, the only sure fire way to meet another gay man was to go to specific gay clubs or bars. Grindr opened up a whole new world for gay men by finally providing a more spontaneous, exciting and instantaneous way to meet guys. Since our launch, and specifically over the past year, our user base has grown exponentially and we owe that to our loyal and engaged users. Thanks to them, Grindr has become the best and easiest way for men to connect with other guys whether you’re in a small town or a major city anywhere in the world.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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