Google recently acquired Nest Labs, the company behind the successful Nest Learning Thermostat. It was being rumored that Google would soon start selling the thermostat from its own Google Play Store, and that indeed has happened.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is now listed under the Devices section on Google Play in the US and is available for $249, same as everywhere else. As is usual for the Play Store, however, you will have some shipping charges, so you may get it for a bit less elsewhere. Read more »
Popular IM service WhatsApp has reached the 500 million users milestone. And it’s not just the total number of users the service has but active users who use the service regularly.
This comes shortly after the company was acquired by Facebook, although WhatsApp had a healthy 450 million users at the time of acquisition. The majority of the growth comes from countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, with India alone having 48 million WhatsApp users. Read more »
The water and dust resistant body of the Galaxy S5 has been one of its biggest assets since launch. In in the latest TV commercial, Samsung has decided to show off this ability to full effect.
The commercial shows kids spraying water on the phone, as kids are ought to do. One shot even shows the phone covered in flour. But thanks to the sealed design, neither of these are a problem as you can just wash or wipe the phone and it’ll be good as new. Read more »
Couple of weeks back, a fake app called Virus Shield came to light when Android Police did an exposé, revealing that the app did nothing in reality other than swindle you out of your $4. The story quickly gained momentum and it wasn’t long before Google pulled the app from the Play Store.
But what about those who purchased the app? Turns out, Google is now giving a refund to all those who purchased the app. On top of that, it is also offering a $5 store credit as an apology.
If you purchased the app, you will get a mail informing you of your refund, along with a redemption code for the $5 store credit.
Hitman GO is a brand new game for the iOS platform that shares almost nothing with the other Hitman games. Whereas the Hitman games have traditionally been third person action games with a focus on stealth but with this latest mobile release, developer Square Enix has decided to go with a whole new style of gameplay with turn based puzzles in a scale-model style visuals.
Let’s see what that is like. Read more »
Beats Music has released an update to its iPhone app that brings with it a very important feature: in-app subscription. Previously, the service required you to subscribe elsewhere before you could use the app but now you can sign up for it from within the app itself.
The reason some people choose to get their payments done externally is because Apple takes 30% cut of all in-app purchases. Unfortunately, that is not the best way to do things and people often don’t end up subscribing to the service if they are asked to leave the app and subscribe from somewhere else. Read more »
Some gloomy news coming out of Nike today as reportedly the company has laid off its hardware division, responsible for wearable devices such as the FuelBand. For those not aware, the FuelBand was a popular fitness device worn around your wrist that tracked your daily activities with Nike’s mobile and desktop software.
According to CNET who broke the news, about 55 of the 70 people hardware team were laid off. Along with the FuelBand, the hardware division was also responsible for products such as the Nike+ SportWatch. Read more »
Facebook has announced a new feature for users of their mobile apps. Called Nearby Friends, the feature is designed to let you catch up with your friends on Facebook if they are close to your location.
Nearby Friends obviously requires you to share your location with your friends for it to work but you can choose whom to share it with. Your friends also need to enable sharing with you for you to see them. Once enabled, you will get notifications when your friends are nearby. You can also share a precise location so that people can see where exactly you are on a map. Read more »
Flickr has released version 3.0 of the iOS and Android app that is a complete overhaul over the previous versions. To put it simply, it now looks like Instagram.
The update is available on both iOS and Android and for once we see no preference given to either platform, with both getting the latest update with a UI optimized for that particular platform (unlike Instagram). Read more »
Both Microsoft and Sony have revealed their sales figures for their respective consoles since they launched and things are looking better for the PlayStation camp. According to Microsoft’s figures, the Xbox One sold 5 million units since launch whereas Sony claims to have sold 7 million PlayStation 4 consoles.
The disparity in the figures could be attributed to a lot of things, including the PS4′s slightly early launch and availability in more markets, not to mention the lower price compared to the Xbox One that ships with the Kinect. Still, fact remains that at the end of the day, Sony is moving more units, and not even Titanfall, which was the number one selling game in March, could help Microsoft close the gap. Read more »
An update has been released to the YouTube app for Android that brings with it a couple of changes. The major addition is the ability to cast live videos to Chromecast. Live videos are, well, videos of events happening live and not pre-recorded and previously there was no way to watch this on Chromecast, which has been fixed now.
Other change is the updated Watch Later UI, which is now in tune with the design of the rest of the app. Read more »
Sony has announced a new feature for the upcoming 1.70 update for the PlayStation 4 console. Called SHAREfactory, it is a video editor that will let you piece together your captured game footage and create a short movie out of it.
The PlayStation 4 always had the ability to record gameplay footage to the built-in hard drive. Now with SHAREfactory, you can combine multiple clips and add transition themes and effects to create a short movie that you can share directly to Facebook from within the PS4 UI. Or, thanks to a new feature arriving with the 1.70 update, you can export that video to a USB drive so you can upload it elsewhere. Read more »
Google has updated the Gmail web interface to make it a bit easier to send photos that you take from your phone. This is only applicable to those who use the Auto Backup option on their Android or iOS devices.
If you have the option enabled, the photos you take on your phone automatically get backed up to Google’s servers. Now, you can just hit the ‘Insert Photo’ option in Gmail web to access all the photos that got uploaded from your phone. You can then mark and send them quickly over email. If you have organized your photos in folders, you can mark an entire folder and send it instead of individual images. Read more »
Google has released an update to Google Glass that brings with it several new features. One of changes is an update to Android 4.4 KitKat. Unlike on the smartphones and tablets, on the Glass it’s not something that will be immediately noticeable but will bring with it underlying improvements, such as in performance and battery life.
Google has also added a feature called Photo Bundles, which groups your photos together in bundles, which makes scrolling through a large group of them easier. You can now also send photos in Hangouts conversations, send feedback by tapping the device info card in Settings and voice commands are now sorted by recency and frequency to make the most used ones easier to access. Read more »
Sony has released an update for the QX10 and QX100 camera accessories that make them a bit easier to work with. One of the additions is the ability to use the shutter button in half press mode to focus before shooting, which makes one wonder why this wasn’t enabled before.
The second change is improvement to the NFC performance. The connection speed has been improved so now the device will pair quicker with your NFC-enabled smartphone, provided you have the latest PlayMemories Mobile app (v4.2 and above). Read more »