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Posts Tagged ‘private beta’

Action Aims to Be the Heroku of Development Environments (Invitation Link Within)

June 20th, 2012 06:45 admin View Comments

Local development environments can be a pain to set up by hand, despite ready-made deployment environments offered by platform-as-a-service providers. Meanwhile, programmers still need to keep project dependencies consistent between development systems. Installing a private PaaS like Cloud Foundry or OpenShift locally is an option even if you’re not planning to deploy to those particular systems, but a new startup called Action wants to make it even easier.

Founders AJ Solimine, Arun Thampi and Peter Jihoon Kim founded the company to scratch their own itch. Solimine and Thampi worked together at Anideo, the mobile application company backed by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. There, they had a hard time keeping development environments consistent. ”We kept running into situations where something would work on one machine but not the other,” Solimine says. So they started a project to solve the problem. The result is Action, a fully hosted development environment. The team calls it a Heroku for development environments.

Action is more than just a cloud-hosted IDE like Cloud9 IDE. Action includes a full Unix-like environment for app development, complete with an in-browser shell. Action has its own IDE, or you can use VIM or eMacs in the shell. Eventually, Kim says, you’ll be able to use your native desktop IDE or text editor and sync your project with Action. That means Action will be able to accommodate Visual Studio, Eclipse, Sublime text or whatever tools with which you feel comfortable.

Some other features in the pipeline include a one-click deploy option for cloud providers like Heroku and Engine Yard, and an add-on system that will allow developers to integrate services like Heroku PostGres or MongoHQ.

Pricing will be based on usage, typical of cloud services. The service is launching today in private beta. ReadWriteWeb readers who want an invitation to take an early look can sign up here. Invitations will roll out over the next few days.

Source: Action Aims to Be the Heroku of Development Environments (Invitation Link Within)

First Look: SoundCloud Gets an Overhaul

May 9th, 2012 05:02 admin View Comments

The growth of SoundCloud has been astonishing. In only three years of existence, the social sound-sharing service has blown past 15 million users and now has more than 100 employees. It’s quickly becoming a sort of “YouTube for audio” with a massive selection of sounds from arists, podcasters and others.

Today, the company announced the next iteration of its Web app, an effort its dubbing the Next SoundCloud. The redesign, which is currently in private beta, is a substantial visual overhaul with a few new features tacked on. 

Just over a year ago, SoundCloud boasted that it had reached its three-millionth registered user. Today, that number stands at over 15 million and the growth is continuing unabated. Earlier this year, the company raised $50 million in venture capital funding, money that will undoubtedly be poured into rapid innovation and growing its team. Recently, the company has put much of its focus on converting its default audio player to HTML5 and developing innovative apps for mobile platforms like iOS and Android. 

SoundCloud has played an active role in advancing the future of music and audio, not just through updates to its own product, but through active involvement in Music Hack Day and other developer-centric initiatives around the world. 

The new design borrows liberally from the company’s mobile products and presents things in a much cleaner, app-like fashion. “Every single element on the page has been revisited,” said SoundCloud cofounder Eric Wahlfors at a press event in San Francisco today. 

In addition to significant visual changes, the new SoundCloud fundamentally alters the way users interact with sounds hosted on the service. Crucially, the site will feature a universal player bar across the top of the layout, which ensures continuous playback of songs regardless of where one navigates on the site. This is a feature SoundCloud currently lacks, and it’s a much-welcome enhancement. 

The service is also becoming more share-friendly. In addition to its existing social features, such as “liking” and timed comments, SoundCloud will now have a retweet-style sharing button, which allows users to post any sound they find on the site to their own profile. It may seem like a basic feature, but its impact could be huge. Thanks to the update, having one’s bedroom-produced demo unexpectedly reshared on SoundCloud by Snoop Dogg is suddenly a possible reality. The implications for independent, budding musicians and other soundsmiths are nothing to underestimate.

 

One other notable feature being rolled out in the private beta is what SoundCloud is calling “sets.” These are essentially user-curated playlists of sounds that exist in a single waveform. 

The team confesses to releasing this “uncomfortably early” and fully expects a bump or two in the road toward releasing it publicly. To take the new site for a spin, sign up for beta access at next.soundcloud.com.

  

Source: First Look: SoundCloud Gets an Overhaul

First Look: SoundCloud Gets an Overhaul

May 9th, 2012 05:02 admin View Comments

The growth of SoundCloud has been astonishing. In only three years of existence, the social sound-sharing service has blown past 15 million users and now has more than 100 employees. It’s quickly becoming a sort of “YouTube for audio” with a massive selection of sounds from arists, podcasters and others.

Today, the company announced the next iteration of its Web app, an effort its dubbing the Next SoundCloud. The redesign, which is currently in private beta, is a substantial visual overhaul with a few new features tacked on. 

Just over a year ago, SoundCloud boasted that it had reached its three-millionth registered user. Today, that number stands at over 15 million and the growth is continuing unabated. Earlier this year, the company raised $50 million in venture capital funding, money that will undoubtedly be poured into rapid innovation and growing its team. Recently, the company has put much of its focus on converting its default audio player to HTML5 and developing innovative apps for mobile platforms like iOS and Android. 

SoundCloud has played an active role in advancing the future of music and audio, not just through updates to its own product, but through active involvement in Music Hack Day and other developer-centric initiatives around the world. 

The new design borrows liberally from the company’s mobile products and presents things in a much cleaner, app-like fashion. “Every single element on the page has been revisited,” said SoundCloud cofounder Eric Wahlfors at a press event in San Francisco today. 

In addition to significant visual changes, the new SoundCloud fundamentally alters the way users interact with sounds hosted on the service. Crucially, the site will feature a universal player bar across the top of the layout, which ensures continuous playback of songs regardless of where one navigates on the site. This is a feature SoundCloud currently lacks, and it’s a much-welcome enhancement. 

The service is also becoming more share-friendly. In addition to its existing social features, such as “liking” and timed comments, SoundCloud will now have a retweet-style sharing button, which allows users to post any sound they find on the site to their own profile. It may seem like a basic feature, but its impact could be huge. Thanks to the update, having one’s bedroom-produced demo unexpectedly reshared on SoundCloud by Snoop Dogg is suddenly a possible reality. The implications for independent, budding musicians and other soundsmiths are nothing to underestimate.

 

One other notable feature being rolled out in the private beta is what SoundCloud is calling “sets.” These are essentially user-curated playlists of sounds that exist in a single waveform. 

The team confesses to releasing this “uncomfortably early” and fully expects a bump or two in the road toward releasing it publicly. To take the new site for a spin, sign up for beta access at next.soundcloud.com.

  

Source: First Look: SoundCloud Gets an Overhaul

10 Beautiful Apps & Websites To Drool Over

May 1st, 2012 05:00 admin View Comments

Yesterday we discussed the trend of beautiful apps and websites in 2012. It’s an increasingly Visual Web and great design is a key part of getting attention nowadays. We put the call out over social media to find out your favorite examples of gorgeous apps. In this post, with your help, we’ve listed 10 examples of beauty in the modern web app or website.

Unsurprisingly, iOS apps are very well represented in this list. Apple’s design philosophy is highly regarded and many of its apps are similarly beautiful. That said, if you have a favorite lovely app on Android, Windows Mobile or another OS, please note it in the comments. In no particular order, here are our selections:

1. Flipboard

Showed the way for glorious design on the iPad. Even better now that it’s been enhanced for the high-definition retina display of iPad 3!

2. Jux

The pretty version of Tumblr. Jumbo pictures and large fonts abound.

3. Tweetbot

iPhone Twitter client “with a lot of personality.”

4. Paper

Drawing tool for iPad, with an appealingly simple UI.

5. The Verge

Tech blog launched on the premise of a new kind of design for blogging. It’s colorful and fun.

 

6. Wunderkit

Personal project management tool, available as a desktop app for Mac OSX or an iPhone app.

7. Newsify

Mobile app for Google Reader (iOS).

8. Art.sy

New art social network, currently in private beta. I’m still drooling over its HD images of art.

9. 500px

Could this be the next big photo sharing service, after Flickr and Instagram? It’s certainly nice to look at.

10. Remodelista

OK this is very biased, as Remodelista is a sister site of ReadWriteWeb – via our parent company SAY Media. But check out the design, because ReadWriteWeb is getting this too… soon ;)

Image credit: Shutterstock

Source: 10 Beautiful Apps & Websites To Drool Over

Wunderkit Launches Beta For Its Wunderbar-designed Productivity Platform

February 1st, 2012 02:01 admin View Comments

WunderkitBerlin-based startup 6Wunderkinder has just launched their private beta for their productivity suite Wunderkit. This is an extension to their simple, yet well designed task list manager Wunderlist, which was acclaimed both by early adopters and users.

With Wunderkit the startup is now taking a next step. They’ve stuck to the user experience that, while beautifully crafted on the one hand is surely tricky to get used to, and have taken their core task manager several steps further by wrapping a fully fledged social network around it. Whereas RememberTheMilk had been their primary competitor until now, the company is now directly competing with full virtual workspace apps such as Podio or Asana, all of them trying to re-invent peoples’ work and organize their private and professional lives.

At this stage, Podio seems to be ahead of its competitors with its ability to customize work space and and a proprietary app store within the web application. Wunderlist now offers three basic apps to begin with (Notes, dashboard and tasks) for Pro users. In contrast to their early product, Wunderlist, the team headed by founder and CEO Christian Rieber, decided to step away from a desktop application and has moved the entire suite into the web. When the app launched in closed beta a couple of weeks ago more than 5.000 users and 2 million users have signed up since the startups begin 14 months ago.

A couple of months ago the startup received $4,2M from Atomico Ventures and it is now clear where that money went to. With the announcement 6wunderkinder also announced, that they are introducing a “Pro” version, that allows people to work and interact in between different workspaces, whereas free accounts are limited to the respective workspace.

To get a feeling for Wunderkit watch their promotional video below:

Source: Wunderkit Launches Beta For Its Wunderbar-designed Productivity Platform

Mozy Adds File Sync Services

January 24th, 2012 01:00 admin View Comments

Online backup vendor Mozy, part of EMC, announces this week the addition of file synchronization services called Stash to its lineup. The idea is to have agents on various endpoints that will automatically sync your files everywhere you have Mozy running, to make it easier to grab your files when you are away from your main desktop. The endpoints initially supported include all Windows from XP SP3 and Macs from OS 10.5 and iOS and Android phones, including the Kindle Fire.

After you install the Stash agent on your computer, it links a local folder with the Stash central repository. Any files copied to that folder will be copied to your other Mozy devices. Initially, you can upload photos and videos from your phones to Stash; eventually you will be able to upload other kinds of files too. Stash also sends these updates in real time, while the original Mozy client does its backups on a fixed schedule. It also shares the amount of your file storage allotment with the regular Mozy backups. It will only work with Mozy Home accounts initially, but eventually will work with the Pro accounts later this year. If you have a subscription with one of the earlier Home Unlimited accounts, you will need to set up a new account if you want to try out Stash. During the beta, you can have up to five different endpoints connected to Stash.

Mozy has always had a Web-based client, so your files are always available for downloading via that method Stash makes the sync nearly instantaneous, and puts Mozy on par with a number of other file sync services such as SugarSync, Syncplicity, Microsoft’s Live Mesh and numerous others.

You can sign up for the private beta here. Those who are accepted into the program before April 15 will have Stash added free to their existing Mozy accounts.

Source: Mozy Adds File Sync Services

Pin Drop iPhone App Is Like An Evernote For Location

January 10th, 2012 01:37 admin View Comments

Pin Drop is a new iPhone app and website which helps people mark locations that matter to them. One or two other startups are trying out this arena, most notable Everplaces, still in private beta, however it feels like the market is wide open for this kind of application which you could also describe as a sort of Evernote for location I think.

Users can drop their own pins or they can take inspiration from the curated lists feature. Each pin can then be assigned to multiple categories allowing users to build up a library of their favourite locations.

Now, this is no Foursquare. There are no points, no badges, no leader boards to game. All of a users’ pins are private unless they choose to share them and make them public. Of course, ideally many will become public, thus populate the globe.

Users can optionally backup, manage and view their pins on pindropapp.com. In the future this will also allow them to use apps built with the Pin Drop API (currently in development – developers can register their interest here).

Andy Ashburner, Pin Drop’s Co-Founder had the idea after being frustrated with the iPhone map app and wanting to keep track of multiple locations and finding Foursquare too feature rich these days. They are finding a lot of people are using it for businesses who add their clients for routes. Truckers are using it to plan routes and add coffee shops along the way.

And indeed, curated lists could become quite a big draw as a help users discover locations based on themes. Already there are lists being produced by Barchick and fashion site WhatIWoreToday.

Source: Pin Drop iPhone App Is Like An Evernote For Location

The Fight For Facebook: Mickey Mouse Takes On Zynga’s Bulldog

January 9th, 2012 01:52 admin View Comments

Mickey-Zynga.jpgToday Playdom, Disney’s social games division, announced the release of its next Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance. It will be available at the end of March, according to reports from AllThingsD. This comes shortly after news that at the end of 2011, Playdom’s hidden-object game Gardens of Time ranked number one on Facebook.

Last week Zynga launched a game that attempts to rival Gardens of Time. It’s called Hidden Chronicles and, not surprisingly, it looks and feels a lot like Gardens of Time. The main difference is that Hidden Chronicles does not involve the time-travel element that is essential to Gardens of Time. Will Zynga’s next game involve superheroes?

Marvel-Avengers-Alliance-image.jpg

In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, players must assemble and lead a team of heroes to keep New York City “safe from an unknown threat.” As a Facebook-based social game, of course, the idea is to get your friends to join you on your mission. The game is currently in closed private beta.

Right now, the closest thing that Zynga has to superhero games are Mafia Wars and Mafia Wars 2, which use a similar model as Playdom’s Avengers Alliances. Players must collaborate with their friends to kill the villains and expand their empire from New York to the entire world.

For now, Zynga’s CityVille, CastleVille and FarmVille hold the spots two, three and four on Facebook, according to AppData.

In its post-IPO state, however, Zynga’s shares continue to slip. Reports from the Wall Street Journal today confirm that Zynga’s shares have hit $7.97, which is 20% below its initial offering price of $10.

With Disney announcing its latest Facebook game release, will Zynga follow suit with a superhero-filled game? Or will its games continue ending in “ville”?

Source: The Fight For Facebook: Mickey Mouse Takes On Zynga’s Bulldog

The Fight For Facebook: Mickey Mouse Takes On Zynga’s Bulldog

January 9th, 2012 01:52 admin View Comments

Mickey-Zynga.jpgToday Playdom, Disney’s social games division, announced the release of its next Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance. It will be available at the end of March, according to reports from AllThingsD. This comes shortly after news that at the end of 2011, Playdom’s hidden-object game Gardens of Time ranked number one on Facebook.

Last week Zynga launched a game that attempts to rival Gardens of Time. It’s called Hidden Chronicles and, not surprisingly, it looks and feels a lot like Gardens of Time. The main difference is that Hidden Chronicles does not involve the time-travel element that is essential to Gardens of Time. Will Zynga’s next game involve superheroes?

Marvel-Avengers-Alliance-image.jpg

In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, players must assemble and lead a team of heroes to keep New York City “safe from an unknown threat.” As a Facebook-based social game, of course, the idea is to get your friends to join you on your mission. The game is currently in closed private beta.

Right now, the closest thing that Zynga has to superhero games are Mafia Wars and Mafia Wars 2, which use a similar model as Playdom’s Avengers Alliances. Players must collaborate with their friends to kill the villains and expand their empire from New York to the entire world.

For now, Zynga’s CityVille, CastleVille and FarmVille hold the spots two, three and four on Facebook, according to AppData.

In its post-IPO state, however, Zynga’s shares continue to slip. Reports from the Wall Street Journal today confirm that Zynga’s shares have hit $7.97, which is 20% below its initial offering price of $10.

With Disney announcing its latest Facebook game release, will Zynga follow suit with a superhero-filled game? Or will its games continue ending in “ville”?

Source: The Fight For Facebook: Mickey Mouse Takes On Zynga’s Bulldog

7moments Is A Beautiful New Way To Share Private Photos In A Group

December 29th, 2011 12:04 admin View Comments

We’re all familiar with the pain of having to share photos with people. I’m not talking about the staff party album on Facebook, I’m talking about moments that matter – the family holidays, the weddings, big days like those. And this remains an ongoing issue. We can share Dropbox folders all we like. Everything still has to be downloaded and the interface does not suit viewing, especially on tablets. We can ask friends and family to sign up to a private Flickr group, but that’s still another hurdle. Lots of photo and file sharing services are rubbish and many people remain afraid of Facebook’s now quite public nature. Now, a new startup out of Berlin has come up with something it calls the ‘Dropbox for photos’ where you can privately exchange photos in a group: 7moments.

With 7moments the default is private photo sharing and the design – mixed with functionality – of the site is really its USP.

This is a really nice experience in a photo sharing web site. Everyone who has access can download the photos and it’s much easier to use than a Flickr group (where everyone has to have a Yahoo name, then join Flickr etc etc – this is just one click).

The private nature works very well. It certainly feels different when someone presses ‘Love’ on a photo which only two people have access to.

It’s biggest competitor os ZangZing which we wrote about here – however, you can easily breach privacy on ZangZing by importing someone’s private album of Facebook Photos into the app. On 7 moments you can only import your own.

You can add pictures, download them and add people to sets of photos. You can zoom in and rotate photos and horizontal photo scrolling makes it an ideal Web app for iPad. Photos can be imported from Facebook or drag and dropped from the desktop of Mac or PC and from within iPhoto.

Although running as a private beta right now it’s easy to pick up an invite.

Business model? It looks like they could ultimately charge for this in a freemium style, such as having a free service but charging for a wedding skin for an album or perhaps filters or ‘era themes’ like the 1950s etc.

Started in June, this startup team consists of Stefan Kellner, CEO, David Linner, CTO and “@Kosmar” – CPO and UX, Chief of Product. Incidentally Kosmar is one of the most famous UX designers out there, having come up with the original Web 2.0 mind cloud in 2005.

Source: 7moments Is A Beautiful New Way To Share Private Photos In A Group

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