WhatsApp’s much requested calling feature has been rumored for a while now but the company has finally flipped the switch on it. One reddit user was able to get the feature activated on his number and it is now rolling out to others as well.
For now it seems WhatsApp is going slow with the rollout, with the only people who have the feature being those who were called by someone who already has the feature. So although it helps to have the latest version of the app installed on your device (for Android users, it’s usually the APK available through the website), you’ll still have to wait for it to roll out to you or someone with the feature to call you. Read more »
YouTube has revealed it has switched to using HTML5 video by default. The company had already been doing so on certain browsers, including Chrome and Safari, but will now do so even on IE 11 and the latest beta versions of Firefox.
YouTube originally relied on Adobe Flash player to support all its features and be browser independent. Flash, however, is a bit of a resource hog, and also required installing the plugin on most browsers. Read more »
Snapchat has added a new feature in the latest update of the app for iOS and Android, which is called Discover. With this, you can now access content from service such as Yahoo News, ESPN, National Geographic, MTV, Daily Mail, and Snapchat’s own network.
Snapchat has been working with media companies to be able to deliver content that fits into Snapchat’s format. With the latest update, you can now choose from any of these services, and then see the content within the app. The content appears in the form of short video clips, and you can swipe up to either see a full video, like on, say, National Geographic or MTV, or read the associated article, like on Yahoo News. Snapchat also has its channel, where you can get updates from events happening around the world, such as the current winter storm Juno happening in the western hemisphere. Read more »
If you are particularly addicted to your Facebook, Instagram, or Tinder social life, you may have noticed by now that none of the services are currently available.
The exact cause of the outage is unknown, but I assume whatever took down Facebook took down Instagram as well. Both services are not available on both, the web as well as the mobile apps, although WhatsApp, another Facebook owned property is working fine. Read more »
Sony recently announced the limited edition 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4, decked out in the same gray color as the original PSOne. There were only 12,300 of these made, each having a serial number embossed on it denoting its number in the series.
Naturally, the most special one of the lot is the one with the 00001 number on it, making it even more rare and super expensive. But to see just how much it would sell for, Sony recently held an auction in Japan on Yahoo Auctions, and the console was won for ¥15,135,000, which is roughly $129,000. In comparison, the other 12,299 units were sold for ¥49,980 ($425). Read more »
Walmart has launched its own HDMI media streaming dongle for televisions. Called the VUDU Spark, the device connects you to VUDU network and lets you stream movies to your television.
The major draw here is the price, which at $25 is about $10 cheaper than the Chromecast. Unfortunately, that’s also the only advantage, as the VUDU Spark can only be used to stream content from VUDU, unlike the Chromecast, which can be used for a lot of things. Read more »
Popular OS X and iOS app iA Writer is coming to Android. The developers have announced a beta version, which will be available for the first 999 people to sign up on their Google+ page, with the final version arriving later.
iA Writer beta will be available through the Play Store for $0.99. The reason behind this is that Google doesn’t allow developers to release a free app and then make it paid later. On the upside, if you are one of the 999 people to get the beta for $0.99, then you won’t have to pay anything extra when it gets updated to the final version later, which will cost $4.99. Read more »
There have been recent concerns over the security issues in the rather outdated WebView mode in Android Jelly Bean. Due to its outdated nature, it is facing security issues, which would otherwise be a non-issue on newer versions of Android.
Google has responded to these concerns by basically saying they won’t be updating the WebView in Jelly Bean. But while that may not be what people have been expecting, Google does have a reasonable explanation for it. Read more »
It’s no secret that developers prefer iOS and Android when it comes to making applications and services for the mobile platform. While this is great for users on these platforms (which, let’s face it, are the majority of the smartphone users out there) it leaves people on BlackBerry or Windows Phone devices out in the cold.
To be honest, there’s not much you can do about that. I mean, it’s not as if you can just force developers to create apps for BlackBerry and Windows. But that’s exactly what BlackBerry CEO John Chen thinks should happen. Read more »
Kim Dotcom, controversial founder of the online file sharing service Mega, has announced a new service called MegaChat. MegaChat is a video calling service that competes with Skype and integrates within the Mega service within your web browser.
The main draw of MegaChat is that it is end-to-end encrypted. This is unlike Skype, which has in the past revealed to have allowed the NSA to monitor communications. MegaChat also does not require installing an application and can be accessed from within your web browser. It also uses Mega’s file sharing feature to securely share encrypted files over the video chat. Read more »
Apple announced its first smartwatch last year, expected to go on sale some time this year. But while most people would think that’s Apple’s first watch, that’s not really true. Say hello to the original Apple Watch.
What you see above is a rare analog watch that was never actually sold. The original Apple Watch (or rather the Apple Logo watch, as Apple called it) was actually a free gift that was given away to buyers of the Macintosh System 7.5 operating system. In fact, it was one of the two gifts, with the other being Conflict Catcher 3 software, and the customers had to choose between them. Read more »
Media streaming service Plex has released their popular app for the PlayStation platform (PS4 and PS3) in North and South America. The app was previously launched on the platform in December but only available in Europe until now.
Plex is a local streaming service that streams local content from the Plex media server on your computer to the Plex app running on your mobile device, game console, smart tv, or something like the Chromecast or Apple TV. Read more »
Bangladesh has blocked instant messaging and VoIP apps in the country, according to officials in the country. This includes the top five services in the country, namely, WhatsApp, Viber, Tango, LINE, and mypeople.
Out of these, Viber and Tango had been previously banned until January 21 midnight but that list has now been expanded to include WhatsApp, LINE, and mypeople as well. The ban is enforced by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) over security concerns by the government. Read more »
Google will soon be shutting down two useful Chrome features In February. The first is the highly useful Chrome to Mobile extension for Chrome, which allowed you to push any open page in Chrome directly to the Chrome mobile browser. Print to My Phone is part of Google Cloud Print and worked similarly to Chrome to Mobile.
Google mentions on its support page that both the services will be shut down early February 2015 and that users should instead switch over to Chrome Tab Sync. While tab sync works, it’s not instant the way Chrome to Mobile was, where you have to open the mobile browser and wait for it to finish the background sync before your open tabs appear in the browser. Read more »
Micromax Mobile, one of India’s leading mobile phone manufacturers, recently launched a new sub-brand called YU in partnership with Cyanogen Inc. The first phone from this brand is the Yureka, which was recently announced and launched exclusively on Amazon India.
Yureka is a budget Android smartphone. It is essentially a Coolpad F2 4G with the YU branding and running Cyanogen OS 11. It is one of the cheapest dual-SIM 4G Android smartphones available in India right now but at the same time has some pretty impressive specifications. So with a low price tag, good specifications, and Cyanogen taking care of the software, the whole thing seems too good to be true. But is it really? Let’s find out. Read more »