Kik messaging app launches its own virtual currency
Canadian start-up Kik has launched a virtual currency for its messaging app with built-in browser. Kik users can now earn "Kik Points," which both incentivizes in-app activity and allows for buying content. Points can be earned by executing specific tasks, such as inviting friends to the beta, and in turn "buy" in-app content like stamps. Kik is available for download across operating systems.
RIM may bring BlackBerry services to iOS users
RIM may break a longstanding policy against apps for non-BlackBerry platforms if a job listing is an indicator. The position for a Senior iOS Mobile Developer wants someone who can design and write enterprise iPad and iPhone apps. As proof that apps themselves are important, any potential hire has to show examples of published App Store titles.
Apple, Path, Facebook, others in lawsuit sights
A new lawsuit (below) filed last week and uncovered on Friday by CNET could try and take Apple and key iOS app writers to task for alleged unapproved contact access. The potential class action case accuses those who've admitted to any access, such as Path, Twitter, and Instagram, of violating privacy by becoming "mobile radio beacons" that were "broadcasting and publicly exposing" contact lists to everyone. Questionably, however, it also names the developers of numerous other unverified apps of doing the same thing, including Beluga, Burbn, Chillingo, EA, Facebook, Foursquare, Foodspotting, Hipster, Gowalla, Kik, LinkedIn, Rovio (Angry Birds), and ZeptoLab (Cut the Rope).
Clik provides universal web-linked remote
Kik launched an offshoot app, Clik, on Thursday. The Android- and iOS-based apps borrow a trick from Sony's Vscreens that lets a mobile device remote control and push video to any target device with a browser. Visiting the website (above) makes a QR code unique to that computer that, when scanned by the app, lets the phone or tablet push YouTube videos to the computer's larger screen. It doesn't require Wi-Fi to work and can have multiple users talking to one host.
RIM CEO hints BBM may be open to iOS and Android
RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins has continued his interviewing with hints the company might not be as closed to the possibility of BlackBerry Messenger on other mobile platforms as once thought. He told CrackBerry that he was still committed to the core BlackBerry platform and there weren't immediate plans, but that the company "should never rule this [possibility] out." The company did have staff exploring the possibility, but it would only go ahead if it was logical.
Preview app already ready for download
Kik has quietly released a preview version of its cross-platform messaging app for BlackBerry devices. The company posted a link on its website, enabling visitors to download a "sneak peek" ahead of the formal release. The update brings a redesigned interface, with support for push notifications and BlackBerry 7 handsets. A new security prompt also asks users before the app takes information from the address book.
Windows Phone 7 gets Skype and Spotify
Microsoft during its MIX11 event caught up in app development in significant fashion with a handful of major Windows Phone 7 apps that will take advantage of its fall 2011 update, Mango. Skype was unveiled first and will take advantage of Mango's deeper access to hardware like the microphone. The app on demo didn't make any mention of video chat, though Mango so far doesn't have front camera support.
RIM look shows failure to cope with iPhone, Kik
A new in-depth look into RIM (PDF) has revealed some of the insight into RIM's past and current struggles to compete with Apple. An anonymous former worker at the BlackBerry maker said it didn't understand the appeal of the iPhone. While the 2007 version was "badly flawed from day one" through a lack of core features, Reuters heard, RIM made presumptions about what users wanted that played mostly into its existing strengths in corporate environments while ignoring important app and interface elements for everyday users.
Leaks hint RIM bringing BBM to Android and iPhone
RIM could bring its jealously guarded BlackBerry Messenger service to Android and the iPhone, a potentially significant rumor claimed Thursday. The strategy would involve a "stripped down" version of BBM that would focus on text chat but omit and geolocation and media sharing to still give users an incentive to use a BlackBerry. Pricing was still in flux, BGR heard, but it could either be free or involve either a one-off or subscription fee to avoid creating too much of a strong incentive to leave BlackBerry hardware.
Kik files counterclaim against RIM in fight
Kik this week responded to RIM's patent lawsuit with a counterclaim of its own (PDF). The messaging app startup denied infringing on any of RIM's patents and further accused it of being jealous of competition to BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). The "overnight success" of Kik led RIM to contradict its own enthusiastic support of Kik, suddenly breaking agreements and pulling the app from BlackBerry App World despite celebrating it just months earlier.
RIM sues Kik in Canada for BBM patent infringement
RIM late Tuesday sued Kik for allegedly infringing on three patents relating to BlackBerry Messenger. The exact details of the lawsuit aren't public but include accusations that Kik chief Ted Livingston used knowledge when he worked at RIM in 2007 and 2008 to copy BBM. His inside access let him see RIM's future plans and build on them when he later left to form Kik, the suit claimed.
RIM pulls Kik from BlackBerry App World
RIM stirred controversy today when it pulled the real-time texting app Kik from BlackBerry App World. The company both removed the app and disabled push services for having "breached contractual obligations" but without saying what those were. Both its own issues and the "broad scope" of customer worries demanded action, RIM claimed.