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Snapchat’s Valuation: $10 Billion and Climbing

Snapchat’s Valuation: $10 Billion and Climbing

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that old axiom is true, then the number of Snapchat clones and lookalikes popping up on the Internet suggest that website developers hold the original disappearing photo-sharing service in very high regard. Under the direction of founder Evan Spiegel and Jonathan May, Snapchat took the World Wide Web by storm shortly after its initial release in September of 2011. Facebook attempted to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion late last year, but the company’s founders rebuffed Zuckerberg’s offer, instead opting to continue its internal development. According to the latest Snapchat…

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Back-to-School Wearable Devices for Teens

Back-to-School Wearable Devices for Teens

For teens, the arrival of August means that the school year is fast approaching, and tech manufacturers are offering an interesting collection of affordable wearable devices. Here’s a run-down of some of the hottest items on the market: Smartwatches. Manufacturers like Martian and Pebble Steel have introduced smartwatches that allow users to get phone notifications and run apps. These sleek timepieces are available in a wide range of designs, colors and layouts, with very affordable price tags. The Moto 360 is also a noteworthy entrant in the smartwatch market, offering more advanced features and Android connectivity. Fitness and sleep trackers….

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Fitbit Set to Launch Next-Generation of Wearable Devices

Fitbit Set to Launch Next-Generation of Wearable Devices

After recalling the Fitbit Force in the wake consumer complaints that resulted in a class-action lawsuit, Fitbit is gearing up for a reentry into the fitness tracking market. The company’s upcoming products include the PurePulse, the Fitbit Surge and the Fitbit Charge. According to a recently filed trademark application, the PurePulse is a multifunctional wristband wearable built around an optical-display heart rate monitor. It will also offer numerous other performance features, including workout intensity, the number of calories burned, and time tracking capabilities. The Fitbit Surge is apparently aimed at running enthusiasts, offering weather data including wind speed, wind direction…

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Amazon’s Fire Phone Launches to Mixed Reviews

Amazon’s Fire Phone Launches to Mixed Reviews

Amazon is the latest tech and Internet giant to make a foray into the world of smartphones, and the company’s upcoming Fire Phone has generated a great deal of debate among industry onlookers. Some believe it is going to be a spectacular and embarrassing flop for Amazon, while others think it will inevitably succeed as Amazon continues to grow. Both sides have compelling arguments to make. Those who think the Fire Phone is doomed to fail point to its lofty price tag; the Fire Phone starts at $199, and an unlocked model commands a whopping $649. Considering that the Fire…

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HomeKit to Sync Up with All Your Apple Devices

At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled its HomeKit suite of “smart home” tools. HomeKit will allow users to control everything from their furnaces and air conditioners to their thermostats and security systems from a single connected iOS device. Smart home technologies are already widely available, but there are some significant limitations on the way they currently work. As it stands, users must access each individual appliance or control through a dedicated app, which means that you have to go through one app to adjust your thermostat, another app to set your security system, and yet another to unlock…

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Is Google Glass Doomed for Commercial Failure?

Is Google Glass Doomed for Commercial Failure?

  Google Glass is one of the most anticipated technology products of recent years. Industry pundits expected it to mark the dawn of the wearables era, but there’s a problem — it seems that very few people are actually interested in wearing them. While Google Glass is still technically in the beta phase of its development, Google has now made the ocular wearable available to anyone willing to meet the reported $1,500 price tag. The first sign of problems with the Google Glass can be traced back to last year, when Google unveiled Glass to a select list of invitees….

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Smartwatch Market Sees Exponential Growth, Doubles in Size

Smartwatch Market Sees Exponential Growth, Doubles in Size

Recent sales figures show that Samsung, already the world leader in smartphone sales, has charged out to a commanding lead in the rapidly growing smartwatch market. Samsung shipped half a million smartwatches during the first quarter of 2014, earning the company an astounding 71 percent market share. In total, smartwatch manufacturers shipped 700,000 units during 2014’s Q1, marking a reported 250 percent increase over the industry’s performance of a year ago. Despite that aggressive growth, many industry observers believe that the smartwatch market has plenty of room to build up even more momentum. This speculation is largely fueled by the…

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Apple’s Swift Programming Language Makes Surprise Debut

Apple’s Swift Programming Language Makes Surprise Debut

Apple made a surprise announcement this past Monday at the company’s annual Worldwide Development Conference by unveiling Swift, a new programming language which is expected to supplant Objective-C, the current standard. The company also confirmed that Swift and Objective-C will share LLVM complier and runtime, allowing them to operate simultaneously within the same piece of software. According to Apple, Swift will unify the procedural and object-oriented positions of the programming language. However, there are several key differences between Swift and Objective-C, including syntactic divergences and the inclusion of numerous variable types, including optional types and tuples. Swift will also allow…

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Apple Launches the Connected Home with HomeKit for iOS 8

Apple Launches the Connected Home with HomeKit for iOS 8

With the age of the “smart home” close at hand, Apple unveiled its new HomeKit tool suite at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference. HomeKit is designed to help manufacturers of smart home products integrate their technologies into OS-powered Apple devices more easily. From an end user standpoint, HomeKit will afford expanded access to smart home controls, including features like smart locks, security cameras, programmable thermostats, lighting systems and electrical components. Devices can be controlled individually, or grouped together for streamlined access through the iPhone. Right now, Apple offers smart home connectivity through iOS, but individual features are controlled by separate…

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Apple’s Announces its New HealthKit Suite

Apple’s Announces its New HealthKit Suite

Software developers working in the health and fitness vertical will want to pay close attention to HealthKit, a new suite of tools unveiled by Apple at the company’s 2014 Worldwide Developer Conference. HealthKit is designed to allow programmers to create apps which integrate various types of health and fitness data into a single piece of software. In the current app landscape, end users have to use separate apps to monitor various aspects of performance. For example, if you use Fitbit or RunKeeper, you have only a limited ability to access that data through other apps. The new suite bridges that…

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