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Explore Nearby sneaks into latest Google Maps

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Google is currently updating its Maps app on Android devices to version 8.2. Upon release we saw the changelog and it had biking elevation info, voice actions in navigation, better My Places menu but Google didn’t say anything about the Explore Nearby page.

Explore Nearby has been sighted by a couple of users and it manifests via a shortcut right next to the GPS button in the Maps interface. When you select it you’re taken to a separate menu that gives you information on where you are, what’s the weather and lists points of interests, broken down by the time of day. Read more »

Amazon unveils Kindle Unlimited subscription for $9.99 per month

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Amazon has made a new service official today. It’s called Kindle Unlimited and it provides all-you-can-read access to 600,000 books in the retailer’s portfolio, and it also lets you listen to thousands of audiobooks.

All of this costs $9.99 per month, hence why many people are calling it a ‘Netflix for books’. Read more »

Snapchat introduces geofilters

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Snapchat has added a new filter setting in the app called geofilters.

Now when you take a picture, just slide right and you will see a bunch of text filters that correspond to your location. You’ll only see filters for your location and it’s mostly just colorful text in fancy fonts and some images overlaid on your photos. If that’s something you’re into, then you have that option now. Read more »

Google rolls out updates to Maps, Play Games, Gmail, and more

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Following its announcement regarding the new Play Services 5.0 API update last week, Google is now delivering the goods with a plethora of updates to its services and applications.

Not only is the new Google Play Games 2.0 with level-up notifications and quest support being pushed out to users, but new updates to Gmail and Google Maps integrate Google Drive support and let you measure between map locations. Read more »

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 »