5 things that happened in tech this week

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Tidal Launch Event NYC #TIDALforALL

It’s 2015 and the thought on everyone’s minds (at least those dominating the tech world) is what the year will bring us. 2014 saw the release of the long anticipated iPhone 6, security breaches from celebrities to Sony and what is now known as the infamous “Instapurge.” From wearable tech to cars that drive themselves, we’re ready for 2015.

Here’s five things that happened in tech this week:

Google plays April Fools’ Day pranks

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Yesterday was the dreaded day of tech companies around the globe playing their annual pranks on unsuspecting consumers who forgot it was April Fools’ Day. Google has long been a frontrunner of pulling off some of the best pranks. Anyone remember Google’s free home Internet network wired through your toilets? Seriously, a few people fell for this. Anyway, Google is back for 2015 with a handful of new pranks. Anyone fall for any of these?

  • Elgoog: forget google.com – try searching com.google to perform your searches.
  • Play PAC-MAN in Google maps: this amazing hack in Google maps lets you turn any city grid into a game of PAC-MAN.
  • Google Panda: The one prank we wish was real. From Google Japan the Google Panda is an adorable cuddly toy that you can talk to and consult for answers, like Google Now.
  • The Keyless Keyboard: Again from Google Japan (because one prank wasn’t enough), the device is a party horn that can be used to input language into your mobile phone via Bluetooth.
  • Chrome Selfie: a new option inside Google Chrome on mobile devices that allows you to take a reaction selfie to any page.
  • Google Fiber dial-up mode: Google is pioneering the slow internet movement with 56k speeds to help you get back to real life more often.

Well played, Google.

  • Read more on BGR

Jay Z launches Tidal music app

tidal jay-z

Jay Z has launched a new music streaming app called Tidal. The app is being supported by other big name recording artists like Deadmau5, Kanye West, Beyonce, Rihanna and Madonna – to name a few. The artists all have a slice in the Tidal pie with the goal of getting artists properly paid for their music. However, the music streaming service costs a hefty $20 per month and gives users infinite access to high-definition recordings, or $10 per month for standard definition that you would find on other music streaming services. The selling point is that those who pay for the subscription will have exclusive access to content from some of the biggest names in the industry, who will release their music on Tidal first. So, while the idea behind Tidal is cool and the exclusivity has some pull, the price tag is likely to keep the average music listener away.

Facebook’s new app Riff lets friends make collaborative videos

Image: Facebook

Twitter has Vine and Periscope. Snapchat has Our Stories. Now Facebook is getting in on the viral video action with it’s new app, Riff. The new video-recording app lets users make collaborative videos with one another. Riff allows friends to create a chain of video clips, 20 seconds or less, connected by a thread of a chosen hashtagged topic.

“Our hunch was that if you could make videos collaboratively, the creative process would be more fun,” said Riff product manager Josh Miller in a press release. Facebook users have already noticed a high volume of video content in their news feed, and Riff is the next step in propelling the trend. Riff debuted globally on April Fool’s (although it is a real app) on iOS and Android and will be available in 15 languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Thai and Polish.

GoDaddy shares jump 31% in market debut

GoDaddy had a big first day on the public market with their shares increasing by nearly 31%. Shares of the company opened up for trade at $26.15 – up from their $20 IPO price tag. The price of the initial public offering was above the expected range of $17-19 and at the current stock price, the web hosting company has a market cap of around $6 billion. The 18 year-old company is widely known for its unprofitable commercials and surmountable debt and this isn’t the GoDaddy’s first shot at going public. The company tried back in 2006 but stated the company wasn’t in good market condition at the time. Now with a shakeup in management and the CEO stepping down back in 2011, the company finally has some good news with the market responding positively to the new shares.

IBM and Apple release eight more Enterprise apps

As part of mobile applications and services initiative MobileFirst, Apple and IBM released eight new iOS apps earlier this week serving various enterprises, adding new services for the healthcare and industrial products segments. The apps revealed on Apple’s MobileFirst webpage serve a wide market spectrum including travel and transportation, retail, insurance, and new areas in healthcare and industrial products.

The two companies announced last July that they would be developing enterprises mobile apps together, with IBM selling and supporting Apple hardware. The first 10 mobile apps debuted in December and a second batch was released in March, bringing the total now to 22 apps. Four of the eight apps released this round are healthcare apps for nurses who work in hospitals and provide homecare. In addition, the two companies released an industrial app for foreman, a travel app for flight attendants, a retail app for sales merchants, and an insurance app for inspectors.

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Kirsten Armour Kirsten is a Vancouver local born and raised. A sharp wit, keen interest in tech, and a passion for writing is the driving force behind the content she produces. She is an avid outdoors person constantly exploring and seeking out adventure whether it be on the beautiful BC coast or somewhere far away in the world. In her downtime, find her curled up with a good book and glass of wine.
@kirstenarmour

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