The Samsung Z1 is the first smartphone to boot the budget Android alternative, Tizen OS. Announced less than a fortnight ago, the device has already landed in the hands of more than 50,000 people in India.
Well, we bring some unexpected good news to those folks, as Samsung is offering 48GB of free Dropbox storage space for a year for owners of the Z1 when they log in to the service from their smartphone. Read more »
Complying with US sanctions on Crimea and following in the footsteps of Apple, Google will soon restrict the use of some of its services in the peninsula. Late last year the US government issued a new round of sanctions to retaliate against Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and this is the direct result of that.
Google can’t collect money for services from the peninsula, nor can it make payments to anyone over there. So the company will cut off services – some that will mostly impact businesses, such as AdWords and AdSense, but also one that will have an effect on ordinary citizens too, namely the Play Store. 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 »
American mobile wallet company Softcard, previously known as Isis, will allegedly be acquired by Google, according to sources at Techcrunch. The deal could be completed for as little as $100 million.
Softcard started life as Isis and was created as a collaboration between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. It is an NFC based mobile payment system that never really took off despite the might of three major carriers behind it. Last year, the company changed its name from Isis to Softcard to prevent confusion with the similarly named terrorist organization. Read more »
Apple is in talks with several major British banks to launch Apple Pay in the first half of 2015 in the UK, according to a Telegraph report, which also notes that negotiations with at least one of the biggest banks are proving difficult, as the bank is said to be having issues with specific terms of the mobile payments service, including what data the Cupertino-based company will be able to access.
“It is understood the bank is uncomfortable with the amount of personal and financial information Apple wants to collect about its customers,” the report says, adding that on one hand banks fear that the Apple’s service and the data it delivers to the company could serve as a “beachhead for an invasion of the banking industry,” while on the other hand, they do not want to miss out on the service either. Read more »
Just a few days after it entered into a partnership with China-based search engine Baidu, Uber has come under the scanner of the authorities in Chongqing. The Chinese city which is home to more than 30 million people, is concerned that its drivers are not appropriately licensed.
According to a Reuters report, the Chongqing government is currently investigating the legality of the ride-sharing startup’s business model, with officials saying that private drivers operating without a commercial license would be classified as “illegal behavior,” and a fine of 30,000 yuan ($4,820) to 100,000 yuan ($16,070) would be imposed on them. Read more »
If you picked up any of the recent Samsung phones, you’d notice there is no ChatOn application that used to always be around on older phones whether you liked it or not. That’s because the company has been planning on shutting down the service for a while.
Now Samsung has revealed to Engadget that it plans on shutting down the service in all markets except the US on February 1. The company said it will be “focusing on [its] core services.”, which basically means ‘we will stick to what we are good at’. Read more »
If you were having doubts about Apple making its new payment service available outside of the US, then this is for you. Apple Pay is indeed coming to Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa. This has been confirmed by a job posting by Apple on its website.
The ad has since been pulled, but it mentioned the company was looking for a London-based intern to “drive out the rollout” of Apple Pay across the aforementioned territories. Read more »
Nvidia’s latest update to the Shield Hub brings a new Material Design overhaul with better focus on games and the option to stream games from your Shield device to a TV in 1080p at 60fps quality. There is also the usual bug fixes and performance improvements.
The update affects both the Nvidia Shield gaming device and the Shield Tablet. Shield Hub will now show you more games on the same screen and reduce the need for scrolling. Read more »
Nokia will no longer be updating the HERE mapping and navigation apps on the Windows Phone platform. Although originally created by Nokia, the map data has now been licensed by Microsoft, who will now be updating the app instead.
On the other hand, Nokia has no plans of abandoning HERE maps but will instead be moving to greener pastures. Read more »
You will soon be able to control you Nest thermostat from Google Now. The functionality is already baked into the search giant’s virtual assistant, though it is yet to go live.
If you ask Google Now on your device to “set Nest to 70 degrees,” it will try and complete the task. Read more »
BlackBerry’s well known messaging app, BBM, has today been updated to version 2.6 on iOS, Android, and the company’s own smartphones.
The update adds one of the most requested features, which apparently was the support for sending stickers in group chats. Read more »
Hot on the heels of Android Wear’s firmware bump, Google Fit for Android received a major update as well. The latest version of the search giant’s health and fitness suite brings new features to the platform.
Google Fit now supports manual entry for over 100 new activities. Read more »
If you are using Microsoft’s Xbox Music streaming service, you can now download 100 popular albums for free. Microsoft is giving those away those albums to citizens in the USA only (damn licensing rights!), who are subscribers to its music app with Xbox Music Pass activated.
Some of the free albums include TRON: Legacy OST, Swedish House Mafia – Until Now, U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP2, Zedd – Clarity, Avicii – True, Lana Del Ray – Born to Die, Jessie J – Sweet Talker, Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III and Imagine Dragons – Night Visions. Read more »