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BBM arrives on Windows Phone, sort of

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BlackBerry has released their BBM application for the Windows Phone platform. After being exclusive to the BlackBerry OS since its inception, the app was released on iOS and Android last year but it took its usual time to arrive later on Windows Phone.

But even though the app is on Windows Phone now, you may not be able to download it. BlackBerry, in its infinite wisdom, as decided to keep it a private beta for now, so you will need an invite to be able to use the app on your Windows Phone device. Read more »

South Korea’s FTC forces Apple and Google to allow refunds for paid apps

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South Korean’s Fair Trade Commission has ordered Apple and Google to establish proper and user-friendly refund policies for the AppStore and the Play Store. This decision will probably impact many other regions as well.

The only way to get your money back from an AppStore purchase was through contacting Apple directly and opening a case. Google on the other hand allows you a full refund for an app within 15 minutes of purchase, but after that contacting Google through the proper channels is the only way. Read more »

Google Play Services 5.0 now live

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Google announced a major update to its Play Services API last month at Google I/O, and now it is being being rolled out to devices worldwide.

The new updates include services for Android wearables, security, Google Play games, Google Cast, Wallet, and many more. Read more »

Twitter “Buy now” buttons likely marks the arrival of Twitter Shopping

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Twitter could finally be incorporating its long-time-coming Shopping integration, as starting yesterday several tweets with “Buy now” buttons have surfaced.

Although pressing the buttons doesn’t yet do anything, it’s expected that full implementation with Fancy is right around the corner. Read more »

Android more than doubles app revenue in a year, narrows gap to iOS

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Android’s Google Play store has been slowly gaining ground to iOS, which has historically been the leader amongst all mobile app marketplaces in app revenue.

Quarterly app revenue has seen the most drastic improvement, with a 2.4x growth for the first quarter of this year compared to Q1 2013. Read more »

All Access now free for three months with Nexus 7 from the Play Store

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If you want to grab a Nexus 7 tablet and also like the idea of having access to unlimited music through a streaming service, this may be for you.

Google is now throwing in three months of free use of its Play Music All Access subscription when you buy a Nexus 7 from the Play Store. Read more »

‘Talk’ is Path’s new standalone messaging app

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Some of you may be aware of the social network called Path. The service was meant to connect you to your closest people and only allowed up to 150 contacts per person but the service never really saw much use in the light of much bigger and popular services.

Now, the company has released a new messaging app called Talk for the iPhone and Android. The Talk app has some interesting features, that set it apart from its peers. For one, the messages you send are only stored on the server for 24 hours, after which they are automatically erased. Read more »

Google Now links to music apps

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Google Now’s service is constantly evolving to make your Android experience a more personalized one by providing you easier access to the applications and services you use most.

Now, you’re able to click on links to music services for the bands that you search for on Google Now. Read more »

Google expands Play Movies to 21 new countries, Play Books to 11

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Google has announced yet another expansion of its Play services – Play Movies comes to 21 new countries, while Play Books adds 11 new ones. This brings the total for Movies to 90 countries and for Books to 57.

Google Play Movies had a smaller expansion earlier this year and even launched on iOS. Read more »

Fire Phone’s Firefly can recognize 100 million different items

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Fresh off the stage today comes the announcement of Amazon’s new service called Firefly. It’s the ultimate item recognition app. You point your camera to anything that intrigues you and it gives back meaningful information about it.

Amazon Firefly has a dedicated hardware button on the side of Amazon’s new Fire phone. Read more »

Cortana will be available in Canada upon Windows Phone 8.1 launch

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Janet Kennedy, Microsoft Canada President, has detailed the Cortana availability. As it turns out Canada will be among the first wave of countries to get the virtual assistant upon the update rollout.

Microsoft has previously announced the first market where Cortana will be available is USA. The UK and China will be getting the same treatment and now it turns out Cortana will be localized for Canada in time too. Read more »

Samsung may be looking to purchase Nuance, the company behind S Voice, Siri

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Nuance, the folks behind the Samsung’s and Apple’s in-house voice assistant programs S Voice and Siri, as well as other commercial speech recognition applications like Dragon Naturally Speaking, are set to potentially get bought out by the Korean company.

In anticipation of the potential deal, Nuance’s market cap jumped from a valuation of $5.5 billion to almost $6 billion yesterday. Read more »

Cortana coming soon to Windows Phones in the UK and China

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Group Program Manager for Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant Marcus Ash confirmed over Twitter today that the popular feature will be coming to users in China and the UK in the coming weeks.

In general, mobile virtual assistants are severely limited by the Chinese government in terms of what they can do, but if Cortana is able to get an unfiltered release there, it could spell a significant advantage for Windows Phone in the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. Read more »

Microsoft Mobile now owns PureView, Lumia and ClearBlack brand names

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Over the years Nokia has done alright for itself and established some well-known trademarks in the tech world. PureView is now synonymous with great camera performance, ClearBlack denotes great display hardware and Asha was Nokia’s dumb phone name while Lumia is the name of the best-selling Windows Phones by Nokia.

After Microsoft bought Nokia and transformed it into Microsoft Mobile, there were questions whether Microsoft will gain those famous Nokia trademarks or not. To blow away the mist of the unknown PureView, Lumia, Asha, ClearBlack, Surge and Mural brand names are now all owned by Microsoft Mobile. Read more »

Sprint’s giving 50,000 US students broadband at home

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The White House launched an initiative, ConnectED, which aims to give 99% of US students high-speed internet access within the next five years.

Sprint has decided to partake in ConnectED by pledging broadband internet service to the homes of 50,000 students in the US. Read more »