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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 »

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 »

Last quarter saw Apple selling its billionth iOS device – a 64 GB iPhone 6 Plus

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Apple has revealed that it sold its one billionth iOS device in Q4, 2014 – on November 22 to be precise. The revelation was made by CEO Tim Cook during an analysts’ call yesterday (after the company released its first-quarter earnings report), where he also said that it was a space-gray 64-gigabyte iPhone 6 Plus.

“One billion devices is an almost unfathomable milestone and we are all incredibly proud to be a part of it,” Cook said. Read more »

Apple is a convincing leader in contactless payments

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Apple is well above all competitors in the field of contactless payments. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, two out of three dollars spent in such fashion come courtesy of Apple Pay.

The latest data is part of today’s record-shattering financial results for Q1 of the fiscal 2015. Read more »

Twitter unveils group Direct Messages and video sharing

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Twitter is mostly a public social network, but it improved its private messaging experience with Direct Messages for groups. Another change today is the ability to record, edit and share short video clips publicly.

The new features will be rolled out gradually to all users, but you can view videos and be invited into conversations by people who have already gotten access to the features. Read more »

Apple patents a gaming controller receptacle for the iPhone

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The smartphone is already so far removed from its phone legacy, packing an infinite number of functions and replacing a multitude of standalone devices. Samsung went ahead and fitted the Galaxy Note 4 within a headset, offering a virtual reality experience with the Gear VR. Sony capitalized on its PlayStation traditions enabling the pairing of a DualShock controller to some of its Xperia smartphones.

Apple is also set on exploiting the mobile gaming niche, it appears, as recent findings show that the Cupertino company has been granted patents for a number of controller-type holders, presumably for the iPhone. Read more »

Artist’s renderings show what the 12-inch iPad Pro might look like

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Apple is apparently working on a larger tablet, as indicated by schematics published in Japanese magazine Macfan. These drawings have been the source of artist Martin Hajek‘s inspiration to create a 3D model of the upcoming device.

The renderings before our eyes represent an informed guess as to what the iPad Pro might look like. Read more »

Newly opened West Lake Apple Store in China attracts huge crowds

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Today the ribbon was cut and the West Lake Apple Store in Hangzhou, China opened its doors for customers. The event attracted a huge crowd of fans eager to check out one of the company’s largest retail stores in Asia.


Image source: bruce_shia on Instagram

Tim Cook also promoted the store on Twitter saying “Starting Something New in Hangzhou, China!” The latest store is part of a total of five outlets in China. The rest will open before the Chinese New Year on February 19. Read more »

Letterpad is the first game for Apple Watch

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The first Apple Watch game became a reality well before the wearable’s commercial launch. Dubbed ‘Letterpad,’ the title will also be available for iPhone and iPad.

‘Letterpad’ consists of a 3 x 3 tile of letters. Read more »

Chrome for iOS receives Material Design makeover and support for Handoff

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Quite a long time after the Android version of Chrome got its Material Design makeover, it’s now finally time for the iOS iteration to get the same treatment. Google has published a new version of Chrome in the iTunes App Store today, and the main new feature it comes with is Material Design.

But that’s not all. Aside from now adhering to Google’s newest design guidelines, Chrome for iOS also got optimized for iOS 8 and received support for bigger phones. Read more »

The rumored large-screen iPad might launch with optional stylus

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According to the popular KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s rumored 12.9” iPad will launch with a touchscreen stylus. The latter is said to be an optional accessory for the upcoming slate.

The stylus will aim to make the user experience on the large-screen Apple slate better. Read more »

$300,000 worth of iPhones stolen from Beijing warehouse after thieves tunnel through wall

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Three men tunned into a warehouse in Beijing and stole 240 iPhone 6 units worth $300,000. The men have since then been arrested.

The men, one of whom worked as a driver for the warehouse owned by a Chinese logistic firm, dug a 20-inch hole through the building’s wall. The thieves then went about spending the money from selling the phones on gambling, cars, and gold. The police tracked down the serial numbers of the stolen phones, which led to their capture. Read more »

Urban Armor Gear drops an iPhone 6 from space in the most exciting drop test

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Urban Armor Gear is specializing in making tough, rugged cases for smartphones and has tried a little different to test its products out. The company attached an iPhone 6 secured with one of its cases to a weather balloon and it managed to reach 30,480 meters.

Then it popped and the iPhone 6 plummeted down with a speed so high that if a parachute doesn’t deploy, it becomes a lethal projectile. Up there, the iPhone 6 experienced a temperature of -61C, 112km/h wind speed and was spinning at 150rpm. Read more »

Microsoft Band update adds exercise feedback to the device

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The Microsoft Band got treated to its first major update. The new firmware brings a new feature to the wearable called Guided Workouts.

As the name kindly suggests, Guided Workouts will deliver exercise feedback straight from the Microsoft Band. Read more »

Facebook At Work is the social network for your office

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Facebook may be ubiquitous in people’s personal lives, but not that much when it comes to intra-office communications. The company obviously wants to change that, so it’s launching Facebook At Work.

This is best described as the social network for your workplace. It has mobile apps for Android and iOS, which should launch today, as well as a website that’s accessible from computers. It looks like Facebook, but will get your company’s branding. Oh, and Facebook won’t show ads inside it, nor will it track what you do or hold your data. Read more »