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UK users can now send and receive money straight through Gmail

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Google Wallet is just one of countless Google services that have become so intertwined in our everyday lives that we hardly notice it. And if you own an Android device and have ever purchased an app from the Play Store that money did indeed get wired through this very service.

The payment platform is now becoming even more readily accessible thanks to a recent Google update that integrates payments straight into Gmail. For now only UK users, aged 18 and up can enjoy the new functionality and it does look like a time-saver. Read more »

Microsoft launches Office for Android, Outlook for iOS and Android, updates OneDrive

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Under its new leadership, Microsoft has embraced other Mobile platforms and Office for Android is officially available starting today (having gone through a preview stage). Also, it’s bringing Outlook to Android and iOS and updating the OneDrive apps to handle photos better.

Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Android tablets offer an “unmistakably Office experience”, which means the Ribbon UI. Read more »

Rolling Stone archive will be freely available on Google Play Newsstand

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The legendary pop culture magazine – Rolling Stone has announced that it will open most of its huge archive for free public access on Google Play Newsstand. Articles span over almost fifty years and every single issue since 1967 will have its place in the digital edition. According to fastcompany.com three to four big stories per magazine will be available digitally for free including every single cover story ever published.

This is a huge deal for both parties and is a part of a strategic advertising program. Google apparently purchased “seven figures” worth of Rolling Stone advertising as part of this deal. Never the less the exclusive availability should really boost Google Play Newsstand’s popularity on both Android and iOS. The magazine is also sure to reel in some new fans and recapture the love of current ones. Read more »

Qantas to trial Samsung Gear VR headset for in-flight entertainment

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Some are using their VR headsets to play a flight simulator and get a first-person perspective of the cockpit. Qantas Airways wants to flip this on its head and use a VR headset – namely the Samsung Gear VR – take you anywhere you want while in a first class cabin of select Airbus A380 flights.

Select first class lounges (in Sydney and Melbourne) will also get the Gear VR so you can preview your destination. Read more »

Windows 10 will bring FLAC support on phones and small tablets

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Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems Group at Microsoft has been busy on Twitter answering a lot of questions around the future of Windows 10. Ever since last week’s event, when Microsoft showcased a lot of exciting details about the future of its popular OS and the tech world users have been impatient to receive answers to a few pressing question, mostly regarding Windows 10 on mobile devices.

The smoke was already clear around legacy app support on smaller devices and today Joe has shared another much anticipated piece of information – namely that Windows 10 on mobile devices will have native FLAC support. Read more »

OpenSignal: About a quarter of Android smartphones are dual-SIMs now

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With communication shifting towards IM and VoIP apps, one might think that dual-SIM phones are on their way out, but it turns out that’s not the case. According to OpenSignal about a quarter of Android smartphones tend to be dual-SIMs.

It’s a very regional thing – countries with strong carrier subsidies have very few multi-SIM devices, while countries with a “bring your own device” model tend to have a lot more. Read more »

Octa-core Windows 10 phones expected to arrive soon

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January 21 marked an important milestone for Microsoft as the Windows 10 Next chapter event took place and revealed an amazing amount of new information concerning the future of the popular OS on both desktop and portable devices. One of the things that became abundantly clear is that us tech giant is really making progress and investing in its new One Windows philosophy.

Windows 10 on smartphones and tablets will essentially share the core of the full distribution and more importantly will support a uniform app ecosystem that allows the same applications to be used seamlessly across the entire range of Windows 10-powered devices. This is all very exciting, but even though Microsoft cleared the smoke around a lot of aspects of the new OS there are still some pressing questions of availability and future devices. As we have already reported, the new OS will surely be available for the Microsoft Lumia 435, 735 and 930 and if Microsoft keeps its word, most other current Lumia devices as well. This is an admirable decision, but we can’t help that the Microsoft mobile family is severely lacking on flagship models lately. Luckily this might change pretty soon. Read more »

Paper by Facebook for iOS updated with improved Camera Roll and photo sharing

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Just a few months after adding support for the larger displays of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Facebook has updated its Paper app for iOS to version 1.2.5, bringing improvements to Camera Roll and photo sharing, as well as faster performance.

Photos and videos are now organized by the date they were taken, making it easy for you to find what you’re looking for while selecting media to share. In addition, the updated app also introduces the ability to share photos from the new Favorites album introduced in iOS 8. Read more »

Bill Gates working on a Personal Agent project at Microsoft

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When Bill Gates stepped down as Microsoft chairman last year, he vowed to “substantially” increase the time he spends at the company, with a particular focus on “ambitious scenarios,” though he didn’t reveal what exactly he would be doing. However, in an Ask Me Anything question and answer session on Reddit yesterday, Gates revealed that he is currently working on a project dubbed Personal Agent.

“One project I am working on with Microsoft is the Personal Agent which will remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to,” he said. “The idea that you have to find applications and pick them and they each are trying to tell you what is new is just not the efficient model – the agent will help solve this.” Read more »

WorkMail by Amazon wants to take on Microsoft Exchange

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Amazon Web Services introduced secure email and calendar client for business. Dubbed WorkMail, the solution aims to take on the likes of Microsoft Exchange and Google Gmail.

WorkMail is priced at $4 per month for each user. Read more »

HTC will launch online store in Taiwan next month to better fight against Xiaomi

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HTC is set to start operating its own online store in its home market of Taiwan. This has been known ever since December, when HTC North Asia President Jack Tong made the plans official. The store will officially open at 10 pm local time on February 4.

The move is said to be all about better positioning HTC to compete head-on with Chinese competitors such as Xiaomi when it comes to the sales of cheap smartphones. Read more »

Sony announces PlayStation Music powered by Spotify

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Today Sony has unveiled a new music streaming service that will become available in the spring. It’s called PlayStation Music, and it will be powered by Spotify. It will be available on PS3 and PS4, as well as unnamed “Xperia smartphones and tablets”.

You may be wondering what this means for Sony’s in-house developed service called Music Unlimited. Well, nothing good as it turns out. Music Unlimited will be shut down on March 29 in all the 19 countries where it’s available. Prior to that, from February 28, all of its users with active subscriptions will get free access to the service until it closes down. Read more »

Google Play increases the gap on the iOS App Store in number of downloads, fails to monetize

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App Annie, mobile app analyzer, has published its annual report containing some curious findings. The paper, named App Annie Index:2014 Retrospective, sheds light on the mobile app trends of the year.

Chief among them is that Google is building on its lead over Apple when it comes to downloads, snatching 60% of the total number. In other words, Google Play store has registered close to 50% more app installations than the iOS App Store. Read more »

LG to mass produce truly flexible OLED panels in July

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Smartphone manufacturers have always experimented with new ways of achieving exciting form-factors and design statements in their devices, but one thing has mostly remained the same – the flat panes screen. We have grown so accustomed to the standard flat surface that the constant strive has been to make it bigger and more lifelike.

This seems to be finally changing with an ever-increasing push towards curved display technology. Naturally smartphones are among the first adopters and LG is at the forefront of innovation when it comes to curved technology. After the LG G Flex 2 was unveiled at CES 2015 in became abundantly clear that the Korean manufacturer intends to further develop bendable display technology and is investing in its future. Read more »

LG displays ends 2014 with record profit

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LG Display released its financial report for the fiscal 2014 highlighting a record operating profit of $1.245 billion. That’s 16.7% more than the year before and the largest increase the LG subsidiary saw in the last six years.

The reason for the boost is a strong increase in demand of LCD panels and partly because of the deal between LG Display and Apple for the production of iPhone screens. Read more »